Lifetime anxiety disorder and current anxiety symptoms associated with hastened depressive recurrence in bipolar disorder.

Journal of affective disorders

PubMedID: 28558363

Shah S, Kim JP, Park DY, Kim H, Yuen LD, Do D, Dell'Osso B, Hooshmand F, Miller S, Wang PW, Ketter TA. Lifetime anxiety disorder and current anxiety symptoms associated with hastened depressive recurrence in bipolar disorder. J Affect Disord. 2017;219165-171.
AIMS
To assess differential relationships between lifetime anxiety disorder/current anxiety symptoms and longitudinal depressive severity in bipolar disorder (BD).

METHODS
Stanford BD Clinic outpatients enrolled during 2000-2011 were assessed with the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for BD (STEP-BD) Affective Disorders Evaluation and followed with the STEP-BD Clinical Monitoring Form while receiving naturalistic treatment for up to two years. Baseline unfavorable illness characteristics/current mood symptoms and times to depressive recurrence/recovery were compared in patients with versus without lifetime anxiety disorder/current anxiety symptoms.

RESULTS
Among 105 currently recovered patients, lifetime anxiety disorder was significantly associated with 10/27 (37.0%) demographic/other unfavorable illness characteristics/current mood symptoms/current psychotropics, hastened depressive recurrence (driven by earlier onset age), and a significantly (> two-fold) higher Kaplan-Meier estimated depressive recurrence rate, whereas current anxiety symptoms were significantly associated with 10/27 (37.0%) demographic/other unfavorable illness characteristics/current mood symptoms/current psychotropics and hastened depressive recurrence (driven by lifetime anxiety disorder), but only a numerically higher Kaplan-Meier estimated depressive recurrence rate. In contrast, among 153 currently depressed patients, lifetime anxiety disorder/current anxiety symptoms were not significantly associated with time to depressive recovery or depressive recovery rate.

LIMITATIONS
American tertiary BD clinic referral sample, open naturalistic treatment.

CONCLUSIONS
Research is needed regarding differential relationships between lifetime anxiety disorder and current anxiety symptoms and hastened/delayed depressive recurrence/recovery - specifically whether lifetime anxiety disorder versus current anxiety symptoms has marginally more robust association with hastened depressive recurrence, and whether both have marginally more robust associations with hastened depressive recurrence versus delayed depressive recovery, and related clinical implications.