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The real impact of affective temperaments: new perspectives from Argentina


We have examined the prevalence of affective temperaments between clinically unaffected relatives of bipolar patients and investigated the impact of these “subaffective” forms on their quality of life (QoL) in seven sites across Argentina.

Material and methods

We administered the scales TEMPS-A Buenos Aires [1] and Quality of Life Index-Spanish version, to a sample of non-ill first degree relatives of bipolar disorder patients (“cases”) and controls without family history of affective illness.


Mean scores on all TEMPS-A subscales were significantly higher in cases, except for hyperthymia. The prevalence of affective temperaments, according to Argentinean cut-off points [2], was also higher, with statistical signification for cyclothymic and anxious temperaments. Regarding QoL, we have found an affectation of QoL domains for all temperaments, except hyperthymia. Both findings support the concept of a spectrum of subthreshold affective traits or temperaments in bipolar pedigrees [3].


Our study confirms that healthy relatives of bipolar probands exhibit a higher degree of temperamental dysregulation than normal controls and demonstrates that affective temperaments can serve as an endophenotype for bipolar disorder [4] as judged by the fact that “clinically well” relatives show these traits at a statistically significantly higher than appropiately chosen controls.

In this study we go beyond these considerations to test the hyphotesis that the “well relatives” of bipolar probands not only exhibit such traits, but could also show some impairment as a result of a temperamental foundation. Our results support the idea that predominant temperaments have a direct impact on their quality of life (QoL).


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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Vázquez, G.H. The real impact of affective temperaments: new perspectives from Argentina. Ann Gen Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S61 (2008).

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