To explore gender differences in bipolar I disorder, we compared the longitudinal treatment outcome and baseline demographic and clinical characteristics of 27 male and 45 female adult subjects who were treated for an acute affective episode and longitudinally followed for a period of up to 48 weeks. Females were more likely to report a history of suicidal gestures and a comorbid panic disorder; males were more likely to present with a comorbid obsessive-compulsive disorder, and there was a trend for a more frequent history of alcohol or substance abuse. No significant differences were found between the genders for the time to remission from the index episode, number of recurrences, and time spent with any clinical or subclinical mood symptom during the 48 weeks of maintenance treatment. Although differences may exist between bipolar I male and female subjects, prospective course does not seem to reveal differences in a 48-week period, at least when similar treatment strategies are adopted.
*Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy; and †University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Send reprint requests to Alessandra Benedetti, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Via Roma, 67 Pisa, Italy.