Early identification of individuals at high risk for the onset of bipolar spectrum disorder (BPSD) is key from both a clinical and research perspective. While previous work has identified the presence of a bipolar prodrome, the predictive implications for the individual have not been assessed, to date.Objective
To build a risk calculator to predict the 5-year onset of BPSD in youth at familial risk for BPSD.Design, Setting, and Participants
The Pittsburgh Bipolar Offspring Study is an ongoing community-based longitudinal cohort investigation of offspring of parents with bipolar I or II (and community controls), recruited between November 2001 and July 2007, with a median follow-up period of more than 9 years. Recruitment has ended, but follow-up is ongoing. The present analysis included offspring of parents with bipolar I or II (aged 6-17 years) who had not yet developed BPSD at baseline.Main Outcomes and Measures
This study tested the degree to which a time-to-event model, including measures of mood and anxiety, general psychosocial functioning, age at mood disorder onset in the bipolar parent, and age at each visit, predicted new-onset BPSD. To fully use longitudinal data, the study assessed each visit separately, clustering within individuals. Discrimination was measured using the time-dependent area under the curve (AUC), predicting 5-year risk; internal validation was performed using 1000 bootstrapped resamples. Calibration was assessed by comparing observed vs predicted probability of new-onset BPSD.Results
There were 412 at-risk offspring (202 [49.0%] female), with a mean (SD) visit age of 12.0 (3.5) years and a mean (SD) age at new-onset BPSD of 14.2 (4.5) years. Among them, 54 (13.1%) developed BPSD during follow-up (18 with BD I or II); these participants contributed a total of 1058 visits, 67 (6.3%) of which preceded new-onset BPSD within the next 5 years. Using internal validation to account for overfitting, the model provided good discrimination between converting vs nonconverting visits (AUC, 0.76; bootstrapped 95% CI, 0.71-0.82). Important univariate predictors of outcome (AUC range, 0.66-0.70) were dimensional measures of mania, depression, anxiety, and mood lability; psychosocial functioning; and parental age at mood disorder.Conclusions and Relevance
This risk calculator provides a practical tool for assessing the probability that a youth at familial risk for BPSD will develop new-onset BPSD within the next 5 years. Such a tool may be used by clinicians to inform frequency of monitoring and treatment options and for research studies to better identify potential participants at ultra high risk of conversion.