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Gender differences in the somatotype of bipolar I patients and sex-matched controls

M. Mantarkov, F. Ahmed-Popova, V. Akabaliev, S. Sivkov

Abstract

Ninety-five years after Kretschmer`s original publication the concept of somatotype in psychiatry remains controversial. The aim of the study was to compare the somatotype of patients with bipolar I disorder and sex-matched mentally healthy controls using the Heath-Carter Anthropometric Method and predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. 67 bipolar I patients (26 males, 41 females) and 119 mentally healthy controls (54 males, 65 females) were assessed. Bipolar I males were significantly less endomorphic and more ectomorphic than sex-matched controls. Bipolar I females were significantly less ectomorphic than sex-matched controls. We found significant interaction effects between gender and group membership on all somatotype components. Bipolar I males had significantly lower, while bipolar I females had significantly higher BMIs than controls. Kretschmer`s hypothesis may only apply to females. In an age of orexigenic mood stabilizers bipolar I females may be a particularly vulnerable treatment population. Our data suggest bipolar I disorder is at least partly a neurodevelopmental condition.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14748/ssm.v48i0.2383

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About The Authors

M. Mantarkov

F. Ahmed-Popova

V. Akabaliev

S. Sivkov

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