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Complicated Mania:  Comorbidity and Immediate Outcome in the Treatment of Mania

Donald W. Black, MD; George Winokur, MD; Sue Bell, MA; Amelia Nasrallah, MA; James Hulbert, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(3):232-236. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800270040005.
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• In a case-control study, 57 manics with antecedent or coexisting nonaffective psychiatric disorders (n = 38) or serious medical illnesses (n = 19) ("complicated mania") were compared with 114 age-, sex-, and year-of-admisson—matched controls with no other disorder ("uncomplicated mania"). Significant differences emerged between the three groups in age, marital status, age at onset, number of prior hospitalizations and prior suicide attempts, organic features, and outcome measures (recovery and death rates). Patients were divided into four treatment groups based on primary mode of therapy during index admission; the groups included electroconvulsive therapy, adequate lithium carbonate, inadequate lithium carbonate, and neither treatment. Uncomplicated manics were significantly more likely to receive adequate lithium carbonate and less likely to receive inadequate lithium carbonate than were complicated manics. The latter patients had a significantly poorer immediate response to treatment overall, and to adequate lithium carbonate specifically. Seventy-eight (68.4%) uncomplicated manics had recovered at discharge, compared with 26 (45.6%) complicated manics. Logistic regression suggested that the influence of comorbidity on outcome was more important for women than men. We conclude that complicated mania is a useful clinical construct.

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