Co-prescription of medication for bipolar disorder and diabetes mellitus: a nationwide population-based study with focus on gender differences
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background: Studies have shown a correlation between bipolar disorder and diabetes mellitus. It is unclear if this correlation is a part of common pathophysiological pathways, or if medication for bipolar disorder has negative effects on blood sugar regulation. Methods: The Norwegian prescription database was analyzed. Prescriptions for lithium, lamotrigine, carbamazepine and valproate were used as proxies for bipolar disorder. Prescriptions for insulin and oral anti-diabetic agents were used as proxies for diabetes mellitus. We explored the association between medication for bipolar disorder and diabetes medication by logistic regression. Results: We found a strong association between concomitant use of medication to treat diabetes mellitus and mood stabilizers for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Females had a 30% higher risk compared to men of being treated for both disorders. Persons using oral anti-diabetic agents had higher odds of receiving valproate than either lithium or lamotrigine. Use of insulin as monotherapy seemed to have lower odds than oral anti-diabetic agents of co-prescription of mood stabilizers, compared to the general population. Conclusions: This study showed a strong association between the use of mood stabilizers and anti-diabetic agents. The association was stronger among women than men.