TUESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Though bipolar disorder is a major contributor to depression-related workplace cost-of-illness, those costs have been overlooked because most studies fail to distinguish between bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, according to a report in the September issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Ronald Kessler, Ph.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues used data from the recently completed National Comorbidity Survey Replication, a U.S. national survey of the costs of mental disorders, to separate the workplace costs associated with bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder.
The investigators found that bipolar disorder was associated with 65.5 lost workdays per ill worker per year compared to 27.2 lost days for workers with major depressive disorder. The greater number of lost workdays for bipolar disorder was due to more severe and persistent depressive episodes.
An expanded view of bipolar disorder brings estimates of affected individuals to nearly 5 percent of the general population, according to background information. "Employer interest in workplace costs of mood disorders should be broadened beyond major depressive disorder to include bipolar disorder," the authors conclude.
The study was supported in part by BristolMyersSquibb and other drug companies.
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