The records of 76 bipolar (DSM-III) patients were reviewed for a history
of previous misdiagnosis of schizophrenia. Multivariate analyses identified
three variables significantly associated with previous
misdiagnosis--auditory hallucinations, early age at onset, and ethnicity.
Ethnicity remained significantly associated with misdiagnosis of bipolar
patients as schizophrenic even after all other significant variables were
partialled out of the equation. It appears from these data that black and
Hispanic (Puerto Rican) bipolar patients may be at a higher risk than
whites for misdiagnosis as schizophrenic, particularly if they are young
and experience auditory hallucinations during affective episodes.