Lipid and glycemic profiles in patients with bipolar disorder: Cholesterol levels are reduced in mania

Laura Fusar-Poli, Andrea Amerio, Patriciu Cimpoesu, Antimo Natale, Virginio Salvi, Guendalina Zappa, Gianluca Serafini, Mario Amore, Eugenio Aguglia, Andrea Aguglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: Bipolar disorder (BD) is a severe mental condition with a lifetime prevalence estimated around 2% among the general population. Due to risk factors, etiological mechanisms, and the chronic use of psychotropic medications, people with BD are frequently affected by medical comorbidities, such as metabolic syndrome (MetS), associated with altered blood levels of glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Moreover, the lipid concentration may be associated with the severity of psychiatric symptoms. Materials and Methods: Five hundred and forty-two in-and outpatients (418 affected by BD and 124 affected by schizophrenia) were recruited in two Italian university hospitals. A blood examination assessing the fasting glucose, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides was performed. Results: No significant differences were found in the lipid and glycemic profiles between patients with BD and schizophrenia. When considering only the BD sample, we found that patients experiencing a manic episode had significantly lower total cholesterol, HDL, and LDL than euthymic patients. Moreover, the total and LDL cholesterol levels were significantly lower in (hypo)manic than depressed patients. Mood episodes did not influence the triglyceride and glucose levels in our sample. Conclusions: Clinicians should pay attention to blood cholesterol levels in patients with BD, as differences in concentrations may predispose them to severe medical conditions and can be associated with the onset of mood episodes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cholesterol
  • Glucose
  • Mania
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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