Influence of light exposure during early life on the age of onset of bipolar disorder


Background: Environmental conditions early in life may imprint the circadian system and influence response to environmental signals later in life. We previously determined that a large springtime increase in solar insolation at the onset location was associated with a younger age of onset of bipolar disorder, especially with a family history of mood disorders. This study investigated whether the hours of daylight at the birth location affected this association. Methods: Data collected previously at 36 collection sites from 23 countries were available for 3896 patients with bipolar I disorder, born between latitudes of 1.4N and 70.7N, and 1.2S and 41.3S. Hours of daylight variables for the birth location were added to a base model to assess the relation between the age of onset and solar insolation. Results: More hours of daylight at the birth location during early life was associated with an older age of onset, suggesting reduced vulnerability to the future circadian challenge of the springtime increase in solar insolation at the onset location. Addition of the minimum of the average monthly hours of daylight during the first 3 months of life improved the base model, with a significant positive relationship to age of onset. Coefficients for all other variables remained stable, significant and consistent with the base model. Conclusions: Light exposure during early life may have important consequences for those who are susceptible to bipolar disorder, especially at latitudes with little natural light in winter. This study indirectly supports the concept that early life exposure to light may affect the long term adaptability to respond to a circadian challenge later in life.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Clinical and Systems Neuroscience
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of psychiatric research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Bauer, M., Glenn, T., Alda, M., Andreassen, O. A., Angelopoulos, E., Ardau, R., ... Whybrow, P. C. (2015). Influence of light exposure during early life on the age of onset of bipolar disorder. Journal of psychiatric research, In Press (2015) DOI
Uncontrolled Keywords: bipolar disorder, hours of daylight,insolation,sunlight,age of onset
Publication ISSN: 1879-1379
Last Modified: 28 May 2024 07:10
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2015 15:35
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2015
Published Online Date: 2015-03-27
Authors: Bauer, Michael
Glenn, Tasha
Alda, Martin
Andreassen, Ole A.
Angelopoulos, Elias
Ardau, Raffaella
Baethge, Christopher
Bauer, Rita
Baune, Bernhard T.
Bellivier, Frank
Belmaker, Robert H.
Berk, Michael
Bjella, Thomas D.
Bossini, Letizia
Bersudsky, Yuly
Cheung, Eric Yat Wo
Conell, Jörn
del Zompo, Maria
Dodd, Seetal
Etain, Bruno
Fagiolini, Andrea
Frye, Mark A.
Fountoulakis, Kostas N.
Garneau-Fournier, Jade
Gonzalez-Pinto, Ana
Gottlieb, John F.
Harima, Hirohiko
Hassel, Stefanie (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-7240-1581)
Henry, Chantal
Iacovides, Apostolos
Isometsä, Erkki T.
Kapczinski, Flávio
Kliwicki, Sebastian
König, Barbara
Krogh, Rikke
Lewitzka, Ute
Lopez-Jaramillo, Carlos
MacQueen, Glenda M.
Manchia, Mirko
Marsh, Wendy
Martinez-Cengotitabengoa, Mónica
Melle, Ingrid
Monteith, Scott
Morken, Gunnar
Munoz, Rodrigo
Nery, Fabiano G.
O'Donovan, Claire
Osher, Yamima
Pfennig, Andrea
Quiroz, Danilo
Ramesar, Raj
Rasgon, Natalie
Reif, Andreas
Ritter, Philipp
Rybakowski, Janusz K.
Sagduyu, Kemal
Scippa, Ângela M.
Severus, Emanuel
Simhandl, Christian
Stein, Dan J.
Strejilevich, Sergio
Hatim Sulaiman, Ahmad
Suominen, Kirsi
Tagata, Hiromi
Tatebayashi, Yoshitaka
Torrent, Carla
Vieta, Eduard
Viswanath, Biju
Wanchoo, Mihir J.
Zetin, Mark
Whybrow, Peter C.



Version: Accepted Version

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