Revista Española de Salud Pública
versión impresa ISSN 1135-5727
BACKGROUND: Different methodologies have been employed for conducting the few studies made on the prevalence of Type I Bipolar Disorders, which makes it impossible to know what impact these disorders have had on public health in Spain. The prevalence of Type I Bipolar Disorders is calculated by the degree to which lithium carbonate is used. METHODS: The prevalence is estimated by calculating the daily doses of lithium carbonate prescribed per 100,000 inhabitants/day (Treatment Group, NO5AN) throughout the 1996-1998 period for each one of the provinces in Spain. The data based on the prescriptions written was provided by the Pharmaceutical Planning Bureau of the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs. RESULTS: A prevalence of 70 cases/1000,000 inhabitants/day for the overall population of Spain was estimated. CONCLUSIONS: Lithium carbonate usage by provinces and by years affords the possibility of estimating the distribution of Type I Bipolar Disorders in Spain. The figures calculated rank Spain at a low-average prevalence, although the methodological differences prevent it from being possible to draw any final conclusions.
Palabras clave : Bipolar disorders; Lithium; Drug epidemiology; Prevalence; Daily Dose Defined.