Do The Numbers Add Up?

6 06 2010

As things stand, the estimated population of the UK is approximately 61,400,000

Current thought is that Bipolar affects 1.3% of the population with that being split 0.8% for Bipolar I and 0.5% for Bipolar II. Ok, so lets put some hard numbers to this;

  • Total number of Bipolar I patients – 491200
  • Total number of Bipolar II patients – 307000
  • Total number of Bipolar patients – 798200

Over a three quarters of a million people, quite something when you look at it like that. But are these the real numbers? Are the epidemiological numbers correct? Are they estimates of what they think are the numbers or are they based on the number of patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Bipolar?

The reason I ask these questions is that if they are estimates then we don’t know the real number. However, if they are based on numbers of people diagnosed with Bipolar, then how do we take into account those who have yet to become serious enough to come to the attention of professionals? Even more concerning is the amount of misdiagnosis due to Bipolars association with many other disorders, how do we take these into account?

As you can tell, this is something which occured to me when I was doing the research for a project. It’s been giving me some food for thought, curious about the real numbers for Bipolar Disorder. How big is Bipolar Disorder really? How much of an epidemic is it? Depression in itself is one of the top ten most common medical problems that people go to ssee their doctor about, and we have no idea how many of those diagnosed with depression have Bipolar depression rather than Unipolar depression.

Maybe soon there will be moves to find out, maybe we’ll soon be looking at more of the population being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.

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