Mortality risk with the use of atypical antipsychotics in later-life bipolar disorder

Sachin Bhalerao, Lisa S. Seyfried, Hyungjin Myra Kim, Claire Chiang, Janet Kavanagh, Helen C. Kales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction: In recent years, concerns about the use of antipsychotic medications in dementia have grown. There is limited data on mortality risk of atypical antipsychotics for other psychiatric disorders of later life such as bipolar disorder. Methods: Data were derived from the national Department of Veterans Affairs registries for older patients with bipolar disorder (>65 years) with a new start of an atypical antipsychotic (risperidone, olanzapine, or quetiapine) or valproic acid and derivatives during fiscal years 2001-2008. Six-month mortality rates were compared for individual drug groups. Results: The sample included 4717 patients. The risperidone cohort had the highest mortality rate (11.8 per 100 person-years) with the quetiapine and valproic acid cohorts having the lowest (5.3 and 4.6 per 100 person-years, respectively). Various methods to adjust for baseline differences including propensity models showed similar patterns. Conclusions: Among older patients with bipolar disorder, there may be differences in mortality risks among individual antipsychotic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • antipsychotics
  • bipolar disorder
  • geriatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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