Demographic and Clinical Characteristics of Antipsychotic Drug-Treated Older Adults with Bipolar Disorder from the Global Aging & Geriatric Experiments in Bipolar Disorder Database (GAGE–BD) T

Peijun Chen, Lisa T Eyler, Ariel Gildengers, Alexandra Jm Beunders, Hilary P Blumberg, Farren Bs Briggs, Annemiek Dols, Soham Rej, Orestes V Forlenza, Esther Jimenez, Benoit Mulsant, Sigfried Schouws, Melis Orhan, Kaylee Sarna, Ashley N Sutherland, Eduard Vieta, Shangying Tsai, Joy Yala, Luca M Villa, Martha Sajatovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Antipsychotic drugs (APS) are widely used to treat patients with bipolar disorder (BD), but there is limited information in older-age bipolar disorder (OABD). This analysis of the Global Aging & Geriatric Experiments in Bipolar Disorder Database (GAGE-BD) investigated characteristics of OABD patients prescribed APS vs. those not prescribed APS.

Experimental Design: The observational analysis used baseline, cross-sectional data from 16 international studies for adults aged ≥ 50 years with BD comprising 1,007 individuals with mean age 63.2 years (SD = 9.0), 57.4% women, and mean age of onset 31.6 years (SD = 15.0). The dependent variable was current APS treatment status. The independent variables included demographic and clinical variables, and a random effect for study, that were included in generalized mixed models.

Principal Observations: 46.6% of individuals (n = 469) were using APS. The multivariate model results suggest that those treated with APS were younger (p = 0.01), less likely to be employed (p < 0.001), had more psychiatric hospitalizations (p = 0.009) and were less likely to be on lithium (p < 0.001). Of individuals on APS, only 6.6% of those (n = 27) were on first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) and experienced a greater burden of psychiatric hospitalizations (p = 0.012).

Conclusions: APS are widely prescribed in OABD, observed in nearly half of this sample with great variation across sites. Individuals with OABD on APS have more severe illness, more frequent hospitalizations and are more often unemployed vs. those not on APS. Future studies need to examine longitudinal outcomes in OABD prescribed APS to characterize underlying causal relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-23
Number of pages16
JournalPsychopharmacology bulletin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2022


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging/psychology
  • Antipsychotic Agents/therapeutic use
  • Bipolar Disorder/drug therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged

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