Study Links Hypertension, Bipolar Disorder

EAST LANSING, Mich., June 11 (UPI) — A U.S. psychiatrist says he’s discovered nearly half of patients hospitalized with bipolar disorder might also suffer from hypertension.

The study, led by Michigan State University Professor Dale D’Mello, also determined the younger a person is diagnosed with the psychiatric condition, the more likely that person is to develop high blood pressure.

D’Mello’s team said they analyzed 99 patients hospitalized for bipolar disorder — a condition characterized by mood swings ranging from depression to mania — and also discovered bipolar patients with high blood pressure suffered higher levels of mania.

“There is a large clinical relevance to the finding hypertension could be linked to the severity of bipolar disorders,” he said. “There is some similarity to the pathology of the two conditions — they both can be triggered by stress and are tied to the excretion of norepinephrine, a hormone affecting how the brain reacts to stress.”

He said understanding how bipolar disorder and cardio-metabolic conditions are linked could help physicians create more effective treatments.

D’Mello said his findings suggest we should treat hypertension more aggressively in bipolar patients

“There also is some evidence hypertension may lead to brain lesions (so) diagnosing high blood pressure and treating it earlier may change the medical outcomes for people battling bipolar disorders.”

D’Mello presented his findings last week in New Orleans during the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

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