Gender differences in bipolar disorder- a cross-sectional study in central Kerala
Keywords:Gender differences, Bipolar disorder, Cross-sectional study
Introduction: There is a need for better recognition of the nature and course of bipolar disorder among both genders as it may improve the quality of care. The objective of the study was to identify gender differences in sociodemographic characteristics and illness characteristics among patients with bipolar disorder presenting to a tertiary care centre. Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study comparing 50 males and 50 females with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, current episode manic according to DSM 5 criteria. The sociodemographic and illness-related data were collected from a reliable informant, and the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) was applied. Results: The total number of episodes was similar between genders; however, the number of depressive episodes (p<0.000) was more in females. The majority of males had the first episode of mania, whereas the first episode in females was mostly depressive (p=0.009). Comorbid medical illnesses especially, hypothyroidism and obesity, were seen more often in women and substance use was higher in men. Conclusion: It was found that women often had depressive episodes, whereas a manic picture was commonly seen in men. Endocrine and metabolic abnormalities were more often seen in women with bipolar disorder, while substance abuse was prevalent among men. A substantial difference was noticed in the course, polarity and severity of illness between the genders. This knowledge may provide better insight into adequate treatment strategies for improving the quality of life in persons with Bipolar disorder.
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