Background: Various multifactorial elements may contribute toward the urban and rural disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, particularly among patients with psychiatric diseases. Objective: To investigate whether rural patients diagnosed and treated for Bipolar Disorder (BD) have different risk profiles and outcomes of CVD compared to urban (BD) patients. Methods: We conducted a case-control study that included 125 BD patients (cases) from rural Filadelfia, Colombia and 250 BD patients (controls) treated in Bogotá, Colombia. Cases and controls were 2:1, matched by age and sex. We applied the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) risk calculator to assess risk. Differences by rural/urban status (i.e., case-control status) were assessed by chi-square, paired t-tests, and logistic regression. Findings: Rural BD patients were found to have lower education (p = 1.0 × 10–4), alcohol consumption (p = 3.0 × 10–4), smoking (p = 0.015), psychiatric (p = 1.0 × 10–4) and CV family history (p = 0.0042) compared to urban BD patients. Rural BD patients were 81% more likely to have a more favorable CVD risk profile (OR: 0.19, 95% CI [0.06–0.62]) than urban BD patients, despite rural BD patients having increased CVD morbidity (p = 1.0 × 10–2). Conclusion: Based on increase in morbidity but lower predictive risk in the rural population, our study suggests that the FHS-CVD calculator may not be optimal to assess CVD risk in this population.
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