Predominant Polarity Might Predict Bipolar Disorder Outcomes

hand in hospital
hand in hospital
Manic predominant polarity was associated with variables indicative of worse outcomes, including number of hospitalizations and suicide attempts.

Predominant polarity could be used to classify patients with bipolar disorder into subgroups to predict the future course of the disorder, a potential tool for determining treatment approaches, and increase chances for more positive outcomes, according to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Researchers evaluated patients with bipolar disorder with the Barcelona Predominant Polarity Classification to categorize patients into manic predominant polarity (n=25), depressive predominant polarity (n=42), and indefinite predominant polarity (n=20). Demographic and clinical data was collected at baseline and then throughout the 7-year follow-up time frame.

Patients with manic predominant polarity had more manic episodes (P=.001), suicide attempts (P<.001), psychotic symptoms (P=.001), and hospitalizations (P<.001), and patients with depressive predominant polarity had more depressive episodes (P=.001). After the 7-year follow-up, 67% of patients remained categorized in the same predominant polarity subgroup.

Future studies need to increase sample size and demographics for a more diverse population, control for medication interference, and utilize a more structured data-collection format.

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In conclusion, this study indicates that predominant polarity in bipolar disorder might be a long-term predictor for potential outcomes of the disorder, and manic predominant polarity is associated with more negative outcomes.

This study was supported by Suzana and Carlos Melzer. Please refer to reference for a complete list of authors’ disclosures.


Belizario GO, Silva M, Lafer B. Impact of predominant polarity on long-term outcome in bipolar disorder: A 7-year longitudinal cohort study. J Affect Disord. 2018;24:37-40.