Patients with bipolar disorder (BD) are at high risk for developing cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) during aging process. However, investigations are lacking regarding the risk factors for CVDs specific to BD patients. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between CVDs and traditional risk factors in association with the characteristics of BD in older age. Totally, we recruited 124 patients with BD-I (DSM-IV) who had at least one psychiatric admission and cardiologist-confirmed CVD diagnosis (ICD-9 code 401–414) at mean age of 61.7+4.9 years. Each case subject was matched with one BD-I patient without CVDs based on age, sex, and date of the most recent psychiatric admission (+2 years). Clinical data were obtained by retrospectively reviewing the medical record. A multiple logistic regression model showed that not only traditional risk factor (e.g., diabetes mellitus) but also non-traditional one associated with BD (e.g., first episode mania) significantly increased the risk of CVDs. Given the limitation of this cross-sectional study, longitudinal investigations are needed to elucidate the contributions of both traditional risk factors and the BD characteristics for CVD risk in patients with BD.
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