Almost half of patients with bipolar disorder will have comorbid anxiety disorder in their lifetime, show the findings of a systematic review and meta-analysis.

The researchers carried out a literature search and identified 40 eligible studies — 29 clinical studies, seven community samples and four mixed samples — including 14,914 individuals aged an average of 43.2 years.

Across all the studies, the lifetime prevalence of comorbid anxiety disorders among patients with bipolar disorder was 45%, although the researchers note that it ranged from 8% to 88% and there was significant heterogeneity between studies, most of which was unexplained.

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