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J Affect Disord. 2003 Feb;73(3):229-36.

A follow-up study of DSM-III-R generalized anxiety disorder with syndromal and subsyndromal major depression.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Louisiana State University Medical Center, 1542 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.



The authors examined the long-term outcome of generalized anxiety disorder with depressive symptoms utilizing both categorical and dimensional analyses.


Thirty-nine out-patients with a DSM-III-R diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) with depressive symptoms, both with (n=23) and without (n=16) syndromal major depression (MD) participated in an 11-week clinical trial. Approximately 18 months after initial screening, these individuals were once again evaluated using a structured diagnostic interview and a battery of rating scales.


Three distinct groups were discernible at follow-up. Twenty-three (60%) of the patients remained syndromal for GAD; 10 patients (43%) were in partial remission from GAD; six (15%) were asymptomatic. Of the 23 patients who were syndromal for MD at baseline, 13 (56%) remained syndromal for MD at follow-up. All of the patients who were syndromal for MD at follow-up remained syndromal for GAD as well.


Outcomes in this study were quite divergent, though they support the concept of GAD as a chronic illness in most patients, with or without MD. The presence or absence of MD versus subsyndromal depression at baseline appeared to have relatively little impact upon the outcome. Patients with subsyndromal anxiety and depressive symptoms may be at special risk for syndromal disorders over time.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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