Open Access, Peer-reviewed

ISSN 2005-7571 (Online)
Volume 28, Number 1 (1/2021)
Original Article <page. 13-22 >
DOI : 10.22857/kjbp.2021.28.1.003

Anxiety Hastened Depressive Recurrence in Bipolar Disorder : An Interim Analysis of Prospective Follow-Up Study

Soojeong Kim, MD1;So Jeong Kim, MA2;Hye Hyun Song, MD1;Wonhye Lee, PhD3;Myong-Wuk Chon, MD1;Yoon Young Nam, MD1; and Dong Yeon Park, MD2,4;

1;Department of Psychiatry, 2;Mood Disorders Clinic, 3;Clinical Psychology, 4;Admission Management & Policy Development, National Center for Mental Health, Seoul, Korea

Objectives : Despite growing attention to anxiety in bipolar disorder (BD), little research has assessed anxiety symptoms in the course of BD. The current prospective follow-up study examines the influence of subjectively and objectively measured anxiety symptoms on the course of BD.

Methods : A total of 49 patients with BD were followed-up prospectively for average of one year at an average of four months interval. The Korean version of the Beck Anxiety Inventory (K-BAI), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, heart rate variability (HRV) were used to measure anxiety subjectively, objectively and physiologically. Participants were divided into high and low anxiety groups based on their K-BAI scores. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was performed to compare the recurrence of mood episode, suicide attempt, emergency room visit, and psychiatric hospitalization between two groups. Mediators were investigated with Cox proportional hazards models.

Results : Compared to the low anxiety group, the high anxiety group reported significantly higher impulsiveness (p = 0.016) and lower high frequency component on HRV (p = 0.007) after controlling for severity of BD. Regarding survival analysis, the high anxiety group showed hastened depressive episode recurrence (p = 0.048) and suicidal ideation was the mediator of the hazard ratio (HR) 1.089 (p = 0.029) in the Cox model. Moreover, the high anxiety group showed a tendency of accelerated suicide attempt (p = 0.12) and impulsivity was the risk factor of suicide attempt (HR = 1.089, p = 0.036).

Conclusions : This interim analysis of prospective study suggests that high anxiety level in BD may anticipate unfavorable course. Further studies are needed to understand the multifactorial mechanism of anxious bipolar patients.


Key words : Anxiety;Bipolar disorder;Prospective follow-up study;Heart rate variability;Depressive episode recurrence.

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