Comorbid OCD Common in Bipolar Disorder Patients

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It is not uncommon for patients who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder type I (BD-I) to also have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), though having both conditions leads to increased functional disability

Y.C. Janardhan Reddy, of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India, and colleagues examined nearly 400 patients with BD-1 admitted to an inpatient mental health facility over a year.

About 7.6% of those patients had a score higher than 15 on the Yale–Brown Obsessive–Compulsive Scale, meaning they met DSM-IV criteria for OCD, the researchers reported in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Another 3.8% were found to have subclinical OCD.

However, there was no meaningful difference in patients with OCD and subclinical OCD in terms of functioning, manic and depressive symptoms, or number of hospitalizations. In addition, comorbid OCD was associated with a higher prevalence of social phobia and anxious avoidant personality disorder.

One interesting observation was that psychotic symptoms were lower in those with bipolar disorder and OCD than in those with only bipolar disorder. The researchers think this could be because OCD acts as a protective factor against psychosis in the former group.

“Unrecognized OCD in BD-I can lead to more functional disability,” the researchers concluded. “Future research should focus on examining the impact of comorbid OCD on treatment response and long-term course of BD-I.”

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Comorbid OCD Common in Bipolar Disorder Patients

Co-occurrence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in patients with bipolar disorder type I (BD-I) is not uncommon and is associated with increased functional disability, research findings indicate.

The study included 396 patients with BD-I consecutively admitted to the inpatient services of an Indian mental health institute over a 1-year period. Of these, 30 (7.6%) had comorbid OCD, scoring higher than 15 on the Yale–Brown Obsessive–Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) and fulfilling the DSM-IV criteria for OCD. A further 15 (3.8%) patients had subclinical OCD, with a Y-BOCS score below 7.

There was no significant difference between patients with OCD and those with subclinical OCD in terms of functioning, severity of manic and depressive symptoms or in the number of hospitalizations.


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