The 1-year prevalence of hypertension was 18.1% among those with bipolar disorder, a rate that was significantly higher than the 13.2% prevalence reported for the general population.
Prevention, early detection, and comprehensive treatment of hypertension are important issues for patients with bipolar disorder," conclude I-Chia Chien (National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan) and colleagues in Comprehensive Psychiatry.
In total, 766,427 individuals aged 18 years and older were included in an analysis of data from the Taiwanese National Health Insurance database.
Among the 1848 patients with bipolar disorder, aged 18 to 39 years, the prevalence of hypertension was 2.23%. For those in the same age range without bipolar disorder, the prevalence of hypertension was 1.21%. This difference was statistically significant.
Similarly, for those aged 40 to 59 years with and without bipolar disorder, the prevalence of hypertension was 20.9% and 14.3%, respectively. Again, the difference was statistically significant.
Men with bipolar disorder had a significant 55% increased risk for hypertension compared with men without bipolar disorder, while for women with bipolar disorder, the risk for hypertension was 35% higher than that for their peers without the disorder.
From 2006 to 2010, the average annual incidence of hypertension was significantly higher in those with bipolar disorder compared with the general population, at 2.83% versus 1.99%.
Both diabetes and hyperlipidemia were risk factors associated with the prevalence of hypertension in patients with bipolar disorder. However, the researchers observed no positive relationship between antipsychotic, mood stabilizer, or antidepressant use and hypertension in treated patients.
"It is possible that antipsychotic medications are more relevant to diabetes than to hypertension in patients with bipolar disorder," write Chien and colleagues.