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Therapeutic drug and cardiovascular disease risk monitoring in patients with bipolar disorder.

Kilbourne AM, Post EP, Bauer MS, Zeber JE, Copeland LA, Good CB, Pincus HA. Therapeutic drug and cardiovascular disease risk monitoring in patients with bipolar disorder. Journal of affective disorders. 2007 Sep 1; 102(1-3):145-51.

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OBJECTIVES: We assessed whether patients with bipolar disorder received serum drug level and toxicity monitoring for mood stabilizers and assessment of cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related risk factors attributed to atypical antipsychotic medications. METHODS: A population-based study of individuals with bipolar disorder was conducted between July 2004 and July 2006. Based on American Psychiatric and American Diabetes Association guidelines, we assessed whether patients received recommended drug level and toxicity monitoring tests on or within 6 months for mood stabilizers, and lipid and glucose tests for atypical antipsychotics. Multivariable regression was used to determine the patient factors associated with receipt of lab tests. RESULTS: Of the 435 patients (mean age = 49 years, 14.3% female, 22.8% nonwhite), 60.3% were currently prescribed mood stabilizers and 65.5% were prescribed atypical antipsychotics. Overall, 39.7% received a serum drug level for mood stabilizers, 38.8% received a thyroid function test for lithium, and the majority (71.4%-75.9%) received complete blood counts and hepatic function tests for valproate or carbamazepine. About half of patients prescribed atypical antipsychotics received cholesterol counts (49.6%), and 68.7% received serum glucose levels. After adjusting for patient factors, women prescribed atypical antipsychotics were less likely than men to receive cholesterol counts (OR = 0.43; p < 0.05). LIMITATIONS: Single-site retrospective study and a relatively short observation period. CONCLUSIONS: About half of patients received recommended lab tests for mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics. Additional research regarding whether the receipt of these lab tests is associated with improved outcomes will inform efforts to improve quality of care related to drug toxicities and CVD risk factors in patients with bipolar disorder.

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