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10.10.2005 – 10:34

AstraZeneca GmbH

Global Survey Released on the World Mental Health Day 2005 Emphasizes Treatment Needs in Bipolar Disorder

    Cheshire, England (ots/PRNewswire)

    ATTN: Health Press

    Most people with bipolar disorder believe that successful treatment would significantly improve their quality of life and that treatment satisfaction is achieved by efficacy and tolerability, according to final results from the large scale Thinking Ahead survey(1). The survey conducted in eight countries revealed that bipolar disorder had a major negative impact on sufferers' lives and that of their family and friends. The final survey data were announced today to commemorate the 13th World Mental Health Day (WMHD) and to raise public awareness of the impact of this under-diagnosed condition.

    Each year the WMHD is drawing attention to the often neglected issues of mental health. This year the campaign is dedicated to emphasize the link between mental and physical health across the life span. The Thinking Ahead global survey is highly relevant to illustrate this topic as bipolar disorder can be a serious condition that frequently begins in late adolescence or early adulthood and lasts the entire life.

    The main findings of this survey among 737 people with bipolar disorder from Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US show:

    - Almost half (48%) of respondents feel that bipolar disorder had a highly negative impact on their lives. More people in Australia (65%) than UK (37%) and US (45%) felt this negative impact.

    - Many respondents (35%) believe that the lives of their family and friends are also negatively impacted by their condition.

    - The majority (80%) of all respondents say successful treatment would lead to significant improvement in their quality of life (increased functionality/improved lifestyle: achieving goals, maintaining a job, having relationships, living independently).

    - The most important factors influencing satisfaction with treatment are efficacy (88%) and manageable side effects (77%).

    - 72% of respondents believe the public does not understand their condition, possibly leading to the stigma associated with bipolar disorder.

    "The public has to understand more about mental disorders such as bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder deserve the best possible treatment allowing them to enjoy life to the fullest," said Dr Jamie Mullen, MD, Senior Director Clinical Research, AstraZeneca.

    It has been estimated that bipolar disorder affects between 0.3 percent and 3.7 percent of people(2-5). Up to half of the people with bipolar disorder may undertake at least one suicide attempt(6). Bipolar disorder is frequently treated with a combination of drugs, including antipsychotics such as SEROQUEL.

    Dr Mullen added that the findings confirm the impact of bipolar disorder on quality of life and the importance to individuals of successful treatment.

    "Patients are looking for stability in their lives and SEROQUEL offers an ideal balance between efficacy and tolerability in the treatment of acute mania associated with bipolar disorder," Dr Mullen said.

    SEROQUEL offers a well-established efficacy profile balanced with good tolerability: it is the only first line atypical with an extrapyramidal symptom (EPS) profile, including akathisia, and prolactin levels no different from placebo across the dose range(7). SEROQUEL has been licensed for the treatment of schizophrenia since 1997 and is available in 85 countries for the treatment of this condition. SEROQUEL is also licensed in 73 countries for the treatment of mania associated with bipolar disorder, including the US, Canada and several European countries.

    To date, more than 13 million people have been treated with SEROQUEL worldwide. AstraZeneca as market leader aims to provide the best possible care to people with bipolar disorder.

    Notes to Editors:

    SEROQUEL is a trademark of the AstraZeneca group of companies. For further information about SEROQUEL, please visit Further information is also available at the psychiatry resource internet site


    1. The Thinking Ahead Survey

    2 Hirschfeld RMA et al. J Clin Psychiatry. 2003;64:53-59.

    3 Weissman MM et al. JAMA. 1996;276:293-299.

    4 Regier DA et al. JAMA. 1990;264:2511-2518.

    5 Kessler RC et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1994;51:8-19.

    6 Goodwin FK, Jamison KR. Biochemical and pharmacological studies. In: Manic-Depressive Illness. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 1990:416-502.

    7 Data on file, DA-SER-33.

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