The prevalence of late-life mania: a review

A. Dols, R.W. Kupka, A. van Lammeren, A.T. Beekman, M. Sajatovic, M.L. Stek

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Since there is a worldwide steady increase in the number of individuals living longer and an expected increase in the number of older adults who will be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, there is a growing need to better understand late-life mania. We provide in this review a report of published studies focusing on the prevalence of late-life mania in the community and in senior psychiatric care facilities. Methods: We conducted a search of PubMed and Psychinfo databases using combinations of the keywords bipolar, manic/a, manic depression, elderly, and older including English-language reports presenting quantitative data on the prevalence of mania in adults over the age of 50 years. Results: Eighteen out of 188 potentially eligible studies met our inclusion criteria, with most studies focusing on psychiatric inpatient samples. The overall prevalence of late-life mania was estimated to be 6.0% in the reported 1,519 older psychiatric inpatients. In elderly inpatients with bipolar disorder, the mean prevalence of late-onset mania was 44.2%. For other relevant care facilities, no firm conclusions could be drawn. Conclusions: Late-life mania is not rare in older psychiatric inpatients and late-onset mania is associated with increased somatic comorbidity in patients aged 50 years and older. Several hypotheses regarding the relationship between somatic illness and late-life mania in the elderly have been proposed and studies on this relationship and the prevalence of late-life mania in different senior psychiatric care facilities deserve specific attention in future research projects. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-118
JournalBipolar disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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