Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Hypomanic symptoms may be a useful predictor of mood disorder among young people at high risk for bipolar disorder. AIMS: To determine whether hypomanic symptoms differentiate offspring of parents with bipolar disorder (high risk) and offspring of well parents (control) and predict the development of mood episodes. METHOD: High-risk and control offspring were prospectively assessed using semi-structured clinical interviews annually and completed the Hypomania Checklist-32 Revised (HCL-32). Clinically significant sub-threshold hypomanic symptoms (CSHS) were coded. RESULTS: HCL-32 total and active or elated scores were higher in control compared with high-risk offspring, whereas 14% of high-risk and 0% of control offspring had CSHS. High-risk offspring with CSHS had a fivefold increased risk of developing recurrent major depression (P=0.0002). The median onset of CSHS in high-risk offspring was 16.4 (6-31) years and was before the onset of major mood episodes. CONCLUSIONS: CSHS are precursors to major mood episodes in high-risk offspring and could identify individuals at ultra-high risk for developing bipolar disorder. DECLARATION OF INTEREST: None. COPYRIGHT AND USAGE: © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2017. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) license.

Original publication




Journal article


BJPsych Open

Publication Date





71 - 77