What is the global prevalence of bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive illness)?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Globally, the lifelong prevalence rate of bipolar disorder is 0.3–1.5%. In cross-sectional, face-to-face household surveys of more than 61,000 adults across 11 countries, Merikangas et al, using the World Mental Health version of the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview, version 3.0, determined that the aggregate lifetime prevalences were 0.6% for BPI, 0.4% for BPII, 1.4% for subthreshold bipolar disorder, and 2.4% for bipolar spectrum. [61] Yutzy and colleagues reported an increase in the prevalence of BPI and BPII in recent years. [62] This prevalence ranged from 0.4% to 1.6% between the mid 1970s and 2000; by the late 1990s to the 2000s, the prevalence had the climbed from approximately 5% to 7%. [62]


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