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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.



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.


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.


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.


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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