What Is Bipolar?

By jolene
Reviewed: Dr. Mera
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3. Epidemiology

In the United States, the lifetime prevalence of bipolar disease or manic-depressive illness ranges from 0.9% to 2.1%. Internationally, the estimated lifelong prevalence rate of bipolar disorder ranges from 0.3% to 1.5%. Some researchers have also reported an increase in the prevalence of bipolar disorder in recent years.

The age of onset greatly varies for bipolar disorder and can range from childhood to 50 years of age, with an average of about 21 years old. Most cases begin around the age of 15 to 19 years old and the second commonest age range is 20 to 24 years old. Although occurring equally in both sexes, the incidence of bipolar II is more common in females.


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