Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in bipolar disorder, yet no empirically validated psychosocial interventions to manage risk factors for CVD in BD have been developed. The purpose of this Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award is to develop and test the feasibility and acceptability of an integrated treatment to decrease CVD risk factors, while piloting its efficacy. The designed treatment integrates theories on Nutrition/weight loss strategies, Exercise interventions, and Wellness (NEW Tx) to address risk factors for CVD that co-occur with bipolar disorder. NEW Tx includes novel intervention strategies in each of these three modules, as well as modified and tailored empirically-supported strategies for bipolar disorder. The primary hypotheses are that NEW Tx will be feasible to deliver, acceptable to this population, and associated with improvements in CVD risk factors (i.e., Framingham Risk Score) over 20 weeks. Exploratory analyses will examine predictors of treatment response and the effect of NEW Tx on mood symptoms and overall functioning. Training will be sought in: 1) manual development and clinical trials;2) diet and exercise interventions and assessment;and 3) sophisticated statistical models for longitudinal data analysis of clinical trials. The training and research plan supports the candidate's long-term goal of establishing a multidisciplinary program of innovative, personalized treatment research that targets the disproportionate medical burden of CVD in bipolar disorder, an important public health problem. Further research in this area has the potential to improve the lives of individuals with bipolar disorder, by reducing their medical admissions and encounters for treatment and management of comorbid CVD.

Public Health Relevance

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among individuals with bipolar disorder. This research study develops a new psychosocial treatment for bipolar disorder to improve risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, examines its feasibility and acceptability, and pilots its efficacy. This will impact public health by reducing medical visits and hospital admissions in this population as well as by potentially improving bipolar symptoms and functioning.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Interventions Committee for Adult Disorders (ITVA)
Program Officer
Chavez, Mark
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Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
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