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Psychol Aging. 2003 Sep;18(3):622-7.

DSM-IV criteria for generalized anxiety disorder in older adults: distinguishing the worried from the well.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0603, USA.


This study compared 36 older adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), 22 older adults with subsyndromal anxiety symptoms, and 32 normal controls on criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.) for GAD. GAD patients reported more frequent and uncontrollable worry, somewhat different worry content, higher prevalence of most associated symptoms, and more distress or impairment than the subsyndromal group or normal controls. Individuals with subsyndromal anxiety reported more excessive, frequent, and uncontrollable worry than asymptomatic individuals, along with more sleep disturbance, fatigue, and distress or impairment. Results indicate that the key features of late-life GAD are distress and impairment, frequency and uncontrollability of worry, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance and that clinicians treating older adults with GAD should monitor and treat residual symptoms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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