Friday, June 17, 2005

4.3 Percent

New research:
An estimated 4.3 percent of Americans suffer from bipolar disorder or its milder forms, far more than previous estimates which placed the number at about 1 percent, a new study finds.

"When the entire spectrum [of bipolar disorder] is taken into account, the percent affected by that syndrome is higher than was recognized," said Ronald C. Kessler, professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. He presented the findings Friday at the Sixth International Conference on Bipolar Disorder, in Pittsburgh.

The new estimate finds that 4.3 percent of adults suffer from a bipolar disorder or a "sub-threshold" bipolar disorder, Kessler said. The latter group includes persons who don't fit the precise clinical criteria for bipolar disorder but who have symptoms nearly as bad that severely affect their ability to perform their daily routine.

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