Bipolar disorder, or manic depressive illness, occurs in 2.4% of people worldwide at some point in their lives, a new study suggests.
Researchers conducted interviews of almost 62,000 people in 11 nations as part of the World Health Organization's World Mental Health Survey Initiative. The point was to measure rates of different types of bipolar disorders.
They spoke to residents of Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, India, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania, Shenzen (China) and the U.S. The United States led with 4.4% of people who had experienced a bipolar spectrum disorder at some point in their lifetime. That number dropped to 2.8% for people who said they had had the disorder within the prior 12 months. But the U.S. still led the pack.
The study also found that those who had bipolar symptoms also had another disorder. "Most striking, 1 in every 4 of 5 persons with BPD [people with bipolar I or II disorder] had made suicide attempts," the study said. Data were collected between 2002 and 2007 in the report published online in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.