Patients with manic BD add an increased risk for cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction

Patients with manic BD add an increased risk for cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction

August 12, 2019

Patients with manic BD add an increased risk for cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction

Mental Health

Bipolar disorder (BD) is a chronic and a debilitating mental condition. People grappling with BD are highly susceptible to multiple metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of mortality in this population. In fact, in the U.S., individuals with BD are at a five-fold increased susceptibility of developing cardiovascular disorders, and that too at least 14 years in advance to people who do not suffer from any mood disorders.

The increased susceptibility to cardiovascular disorders is associated with autonomic nervous system (ANS), however, there is a dearth of data exploring this association. A recent study attempted to investigate the changes in the QT dispersion (QTd) and P-wave dispersion (Pd), which predict atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death, between healthy individuals and individuals with BD.

QT dispersion and minimum P-wave duration significantly increased in patient group

The study enrolled 44 patients with BD, of which 26 were females and 18 were males. These patients were admitted to the hospital when they received a diagnosis of manic BD. Then there was a control group comprising of 34 individuals, comprising of 21 females and 13 males. These individuals were healthy and had no record of any neurological or psychiatric disorders.

Using standard 12-lead body surface electrocardiography (ECG), QTd, and Pd values were investigated in each study participant. It was found that in comparison to the control group, the principal electrocardiographic indicators, such as minimum P-wave duration, corrected QT dispersion, and maximum QT interval were found to be significantly higher in this group.

Additional studies are necessary to explore association

The study results established that patients dealing with manic BD were at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction. As a consequence, the need of the hour is that specialists treating people with BD should regularly monitor ECG changes in these patients. Additionally, they should also keep a watch on complications associated with cardiac conduction, like cardiac arrhythmia.

The authors emphasized on the need to have additional longitudinal studies, exploring an association between BD and its phases like mania, hypomania, and depression in connection with cardiac abnormalities.

Recovery roadmap

Inconsistent moods are an unavoidable part of one’s daily life, nevertheless, if individuals experience unexpected shifts in mood, leading to chronic mania and depression, then it could be a classic case of bipolar disorder, manifesting as a lifelong mental health condition, making matters complicated for patients struggling with the malaise.


According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.8 percent of the U.S. population aged 18 years and older are diagnosed with bipolar disorder annually. However, timely screening for symptoms of bipolar and quick intervention at a bipolar disorder residential treatment center can set the path to early recovery. Cardiovascular complications associated with BD can be managed by keeping the weight in check, indulging in regular physical activity, eating low calorie healthy food, and regular screenings.

If you or your loved one is suffering from bipolar disorder or any other mental health disorders and is looking for advice on bipolar treatment centers, get in touch with the Invictus Health Group. For more information about residential treatment centers for bipolar disorder call our 24/7 helpline 866-548-0190 or chat online with a representative.

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