Influence of childhood maltreatment on prevalence, onset, and persistence of psychiatric comorbidities and suicide attempts in bipolar disorders
Laroche, D.G., Godin, O., Dansou, Y., Belzeaux, R., Aouizerate, B., Burte, T., ... & the FACE-BD Collaborators
Background: Psychiatric comorbidities and suicide attempts are highly prevalent in Bipolar Disorders (BD). We examined the associations between childhood maltreatment, psychiatric comorbidities, and suicide attempts, in terms of lifetime prevalence, sequence of onset, and current symptoms. Methods: We assessed 3,047 individuals with BD for suicide attempts, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and eating disorders. Participants completed a self-report for the assessment of childhood maltreatment. Associations between childhood maltreatment and characteristics of comorbidities (lifetime prevalence, current symptoms, and age at onset) were examined using logistic regressions and network analyses. Results: Psychiatric comorbidities were frequent with a mean number per individual of 1.23 (SD = 1.4). Most comorbidities occurred prior to the onset of BD. Participants who reported higher levels of childhood maltreatment had more frequent and multiple comorbidities, which were also more currently active at inclusion. Childhood maltreatment did not decrease the age of onset of comorbidities, but was associated with a faster accumulation of comorbidities prior to the onset of BD. Logistic regression and network analyses showed that emotional abuse and sexual abuse might play a prominent role in the lifetime prevalence of psychiatric comorbidities and suicide attempts. Conclusions: Childhood maltreatment was associated with suicide attempts, and with frequent, multiple, and persistent psychiatric comorbidities that accumulated more rapidly prior to the onset of BD. Hence, childhood maltreatment should be systematically assessed in individuals with BD, in particular when the course of the disorder is characterized by a high comorbid profile or by a high suicidality.