Rate and predictors of conversion from unipolar to bipolar disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

OBJECTIVES: For the first time to present a systematic review and meta-analysis of the conversion rate and predictors of conversion from unipolar disorder to bipolar disorder.

METHODS: A systematic literature search up to October 2016 was performed. For the meta-analysis, we only included studies that used survival analysis to estimate the conversion rate.

RESULTS: A total of 31 studies were identified, among which 11 used survival analyses, including two register-based studies. The yearly rate of conversion to bipolar disorder decreased with time from 3.9% in the first year after study entry with a diagnosis of unipolar disorder to 3.1% in years 1-2, 1.0% in years 2-5 and 0.8% in years 5-10. A total of eight risk factors were evaluated comprising gender, age at onset of unipolar disorder, number of depressive episodes, treatment resistance to antidepressants, family history of bipolar disorder, the prevalence of psychotic depression, the prevalence of chronic depression, and severity of depression. It was not possible to identify risk factors that were consistently or mainly confirmed to predict conversion across studies.

CONCLUSIONS: The conversion rate from unipolar to bipolar disorder decreases with time. It was not possible to identify predictors of conversion that were consistently or mainly confirmed across studies, which may be due to variations in methodology across studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBipolar Disorders
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)324-335
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

ID: 193898330