Epidemiology

The foregoing considerations partly explain why such a temperament has received scant research attention in the community. Extrapolating from studies on intermittent hypomania in the community/9 106) if strictly limited to hypomania with early onset and persistent course, the prevalence of hyperthymic temperament can be estimated to be slightly under 1 per cent. On the other hand, the traits that constitute the hyperthymic profile are so desirable that normal individuals tend to endorse them; in a recent Pisa-San Diego collaboration(22) involving 1010 students aged between 14 and 26, of whom 8.2 per cent met the full criteria for hyperthymic temperament, all participants scored between the first and second positive standard deviation. Thus, more work needs to be done on the psychometric standardization of this temperamental construct; on the other hand, all studies are consistent in showing marked male predominance.

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