bipolar in the US

The March, 2011 Issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry has published a study entitled “Prevalence and Correlates of Bipolar Spectrum Disorder in the World Mental Health Survey Initiative” (Kathleen R. Merikangas, PhD, et al.). Of the 11 nations included in the study, the United States was found to have the highest lifetime rate of bipolar disorder (4.4%). India was lowest with a rate of 0.1%.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that bipolar disorder is more prevalent in the United States. It merely means that the rate of diagnosis is higher. This may be due to numerous factors, including possibility of increased awareness of bipolar disorder and perhaps a greater willingness and opportunity to seek medical treatment in the U.S. than in some of the other countries in the study.

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