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Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Oct;157(10):1614-8.

Anxiety in major depression: relationship to suicide attempts.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, 10032, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study was an examination of the relationship of lifetime panic disorder and anxiety symptoms at index hospitalization to a history of a suicide attempt in patients with a major depressive episode.

METHOD:

A total of 272 inpatients with at least one major depressive episode, with or without a history of a suicide attempt, were entered into the study. They were given structured diagnostic interviews for axis I and axis II disorders. Suicide attempt history, current psychopathology, and traits of aggression and impulsivity were also assessed.

RESULTS:

The rates of panic disorder did not differ in the suicide attempters and nonattempters. Agitation, psychic anxiety, and hypochondriasis were more severe in the nonattempter group. A multivariate analysis confirmed that this effect was independent of aggression and impulsivity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Comorbid panic disorder in patients with major depression does not seem to increase the risk for lifetime suicide attempt. The presence of greater anxiety in the nonattempters warrants further investigation.

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