MOOD AND ANXIETY SYMPTOMS: POTENTIAL RISK INDICATORS FOR MAJOR MOOD DISORDERS AMONG HIGH-RISK OFFSPRING OF BIPOLAR PARENTS
Background: Bipolar disorder affects 2% of the Canadian population. Excluding family history, there have been no reliable indicators to identify who will develop the disorder. There has been little systematic study of the strength and timing of the association between clinical symptoms and mood episodes in high-risk individuals. Objective: To determine whether clinically significant childhood depressive and anxiety symptoms predicts the risk and age of onset of subsequent mood episodes. Methods: Clinically significant childhood anxiety and depressive symptoms and subsequent mood episodes were analyzed using discrete time survival analysis. Results: The study included 286 participants (40.7% male). Individuals with clinically significant symptoms were more likely to develop major mood episodes (HR=2.2, 1.2-3.9) and any diagnosable mood episode (HR=2.1, 1.2-3.7). Conclusions: Clinically significant symptoms were predictive of future mood episodes. By gaining greater insight into the natural trajectory of mood disorders, more focused identification and early intervention targets can take place.