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Frequency of Bipolar Disorder

Abstract: About one percent of the population has bipolar disorder. It usually starts as a teenager or young adult.

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Frequency of Bipolar Disorder

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Question(s): 
Written by: Petros Skapinakis, MD, MPH, PhD, lecturer of Psychiatry in the University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece. Eva Gerasi, postgraduate student in the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 30 Jul 2008.

How common is bipolar disorder? What is the frequency of its occurrence? In which ages does it usually start?

Answer:

Studies in the USA have shown that more than 2 million American adults, 1 or about 1 percent of the population age 18 and older in any given year, have bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood. However, some people have their first symptoms during childhood, and some develop them late in life.
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