Comparison of Demographic and Clinical Features of Bipolar Disorder in Persons of African and European Ancestry

Monica J. Taylor-Desir, Joyce E. Balls-Berry, Susan L. McElroy, David J. Bond, Eric J. Vallender, Mark Ladner, Brandon J. Coombes, Linsey Jackson, Danielle Arceo, Felicia V. Caples, Colin Colby, Christi A. Patten, Joanna M. Biernacka, Mark A. Frye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: This study quantified and compared demographic and clinical features of bipolar disorder (BD) in persons of African ancestry (AA) and European ancestry (EUR). Methods: Participants enrolled in the Mayo Clinic Bipolar Biobank from 2009 to 2015. The structured clinical interview for DSM-IV was used to confirm the diagnosis of BD, and a questionnaire was developed to collect data on the clinical course of illness. Descriptive statistics and bivariate analyses were completed to compare AA versus EUR participants. Subsequently, clinical outcomes were compared between AA and EUR participants using linear regression for continuous outcomes or logistic regression for binary outcomes while controlling for differences in age, sex, and recruitment site. Results: Of 1865 participants enrolled in the bipolar biobank, 65 (3.5%) self-identified as AA. The clinical phenotype for AA participants, in comparison to EUR participants, was more likely to include a history of PTSD (39.7% vs. 26.2%), cocaine use disorder (24.2% vs. 11.9%), and tardive dyskinesia (7.1% vs. 3%). Conclusion: The low rate of AA enrollment is consistent with other genetic studies. While clinical features of bipolar disorder are largely similar, this study identified differences in rates of trauma, substance use, and tardive dyskinesia that may represent health disparities in bipolar patients of African ancestry. Future bipolar biomarker studies with larger sample sizes focused on underrepresented populations will provide greater ancestry diversity in genomic medicine with greater applicability to diverse patient populations, serving to inform health care policies to address disparities in bipolar disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-372
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Health/racial disparities
  • Psychiatric genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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