Clinical correlates of late-onset versus early-onset bipolar disorder in a global sample of older adults

GAGE-BD Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Late-onset bipolar disorder (LOBD) represents a significant subgroup of bipolar disorder (BD). However, knowledge for this group is mostly extrapolated from small studies in subjects with early/mixed age of illness onset. In this global sample of older adults with BD (OABD: ≥50 years old) we aim to characterize the sociodemographic and clinical presentation of LOBD (≥40 years at BD onset) compared to early-onset BD (EOBD: <40 years at BD onset). Methods: The Global Aging and Geriatric Experiments in Bipolar Disorder consortium provided international data on 437 older age bipolar disorder participants. We compared LOBD versus EOBD on depression, mania, functionality, and physical comorbidities. Exploratory analyses were performed on participants with BD onset ≥50 years old. Results: LOBD (n = 105) did not differ from EOBD (n = 332) on depression, mania, global functioning, nor employment status (p > 0.05). Late-onset bipolar disorder was associated with higher endocrine comorbidities (odds ratio = 1.48, [95%CI = 1.0,12.1], p = 0.03). This difference did not remain significant when subjects with BD onset ≥50 years old were analyzed. Limitations: This study is limited by the retrospective nature of the variable age of onset and the differences in evaluation methods across studies (partially overcame by harmonization processes). Conclusion: The present analysis is in favor of the hypothesis that LOBD might represent a similar clinical phenotype as classic EOBD with respect to core BD symptomatology, functionality, and comorbid physical conditions. Large-scale global collaboration to improve our understanding of BD across the lifespan is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberGPS5833
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • age at onset
  • bipolar disorder
  • elderly
  • geriatrics
  • older age bipolar disorder
  • psychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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