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Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Sep;161(9):1703-5.

Association between catechol-O-methyltransferase and phobic anxiety.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.



The authors assessed the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism and scores on the phobic anxiety scale of the Crown-Crisp Experimental Index.


A total of 1,234 women completed the Crown-Crisp Experimental Index phobic anxiety scale and were genotyped for the COMT polymorphism. The authors used unconditional logistic regression to compute odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to evaluate the association between the COMT genotype and phobic anxiety.


The mean scores for the three genotypes were statistically significantly different. Compared to the COMT Met/Met genotype, the age-adjusted odds ratio for scoring >/=6 compared to scoring 0 or 1 were 1.15 (95% CI=0.71-1.85) and 1.99 (95% CI=1.17-3.40) for the COMT Val/Met and COMT Val/Val genotypes, respectively; a significant gene dosage effect was observed.


Our results suggest that the functional COMT polymorphism is associated with the development of phobic anxiety.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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