Last reviewed 01/2018

  • two to four new cases occur per 100,000 people per year for bipolar affective disorders
    • the above means that about 1 in 200 people will suffer a hypomanic episode at some time in their lives
  • peak age at first diagnosis of bipolar disorder is 25-30 years, but many patients have had affective episodes in adolescence or early adulthood
  • 15-20% of patients with the disorder commit suicide, with acute depressive and mixed episodes being the periods of greatest


  1. Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin 2005; 43(4):28-31.