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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


ERASO-OSORIO, Juan Jose et al. High risk for psychiatric disorders in bipolar offspring. A four years prospective study. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2021, vol.50, n.4, pp.273-284.  Epub May 04, 2022. ISSN 0034-7450.

Bipolar disorder (BD) has a large hereditary component. It is a disorder that begins in early adulthood, but about which it has been described a premorbid period preceding the onset of BD. During this herald expression psychiatric disorders and symptoms, such as depressive, manic, psychotic, anxious and others, may appear.


To determine the psychopathological profile of a Bipolar Offspring (BO) group compared with the Community Control Offspring (CCO) group, and its evolution over time, including subthreshold symptoms and mental disorders.


We conducted an observational mixed cohort study, with a prospective design. We included subjects from six to 30 years of age, from the region of Antioquia, Colombia. A total of 131 subjects from the risk group BO and 150 subjects from the CCO group were evaluated through validated psychiatric diagnostic interviews (K-SADS-PL and DIGS) at baseline and at 4 years follow up. All interviews were carried out by a staff blind to parent diagnoses. Follow-up assessment were complete in 72% of the offspring. Forty-two subjects were excluded as they surpassed the age of 30 years, and only 46 subjects were not followed (change of address or did not consent to participate).


Compared with the CCO group, the BO group had a higher frequency of affective disorder, psychotic disorder, externalizing disorders and use of the psychoactive substances during both assessments at time 1 and 2. The magnitude of the differences between the groups increased when they reach time 2. The BO group had a greater risk for presenting subthreshold symptoms and definitive psychiatric disorders, such as affective disorders, psychotic disorders and externalizing disorders. In addition, the BO group had a younger age of onset for psychoactive substances consumption.


During the follow-up period, the BO group had a higher risk of presenting mental disorders compared with the CCO group. The most relevant symptoms and disorders that could precede the onset of BD were depressive, bipolar not otherwise specified, psychotic and substance use.

Keywords : Adolescent; Age of Onset; Bipolar Disorder; Child of Impaired Parents; Prospective Studies; Risk Factors; Psychopathology.

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