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J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2005 Aug;15(4):549-61.

Childhood antecedents to panic disorder in referred and nonreferred adults.

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  • 1Pediatric Psychopharmacology Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



We used a recursive partitioning method to examine antecedent childhood anxiety disorders in large samples of referred and nonreferred subjects with and without panic disorder.


Referred subjects included adults treated for panic disorder (n = 131) and comparison adults with neither major anxiety nor mood disorders (n = 61). The nonreferred adult group derived from an opportunistic sample originally ascertained through family studies of probands with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), yielding 58 adults with panic disorder and 587 who were free of major anxiety and mood disorders.


The majority of referred (65%) and nonreferred (52%) adults with panic disorder had antecedent childhood anxiety or disruptive behavior disorders. Classification and Regression Trees (CART) analysis showed that both separation anxiety disorder and overanxious disorder were independent predictors of subsequent panic disorder in both referred and nonreferred samples.


These results confirm and extend previously reported findings by documenting that childhood anxiety disorders are important antecedent risk factors for panic disorder, independently of referral bias.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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