Brief Report| Volume 30, ISSUE 6, P727-732, June 2022

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Physical Health Burden Among Older Men and Women With Bipolar Disorder: Results From the Gage-Bd Collaboration

Published:December 10, 2021DOI:


      • What is the primary question addressed by this study? Are older adults with bipolar disorder more frequently affected by physical health problems than their peers, and does sex affect the frequency of physical health morbidity?
      • What is the main finding of this study? The prevalence of physical health problems is greater in women than men with bipolar disorder, and greater in men with than without bipolar disorder.
      • What is the meaning of the finding? Health services should ensure they address the physical health needs of older adults with bipolar disorder, more noticeably those affecting women.



      To compare the prevalence of physical morbidities among men and women with older adult bipolar disorder (OABD), and men with and without OABD.


      Cross-sectional analysis of the collaborative Global Aging & Geriatric Experiments in Bipolar Disorder (GAGE-BD) database and non-OABD data from the Health in Men Study. OABD defined as bipolar disorder among adults aged greater than or equal to 50 years. Outcomes of interest were diseases affecting the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal, musculoskeletal and endocrinological systems.


      We examined 1407 participants with OABD aged 50–95 years, of whom 787 were women. More women than men showed evidence of morbidities affecting the respiratory, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and endocrinological systems. More men with than without OABD showed evidence of cardiovascular, renal and endocrinological diseases.


      GAGE-BD data showed that physical morbidities affect more women than men with OABD, and more men with than without OABD. The underlying reasons for these differences require clarification.

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