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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006 Apr;63(4):415-24.

The epidemiology of panic attacks, panic disorder, and agoraphobia in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.

Author information

  • 1Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. kessler@hcp.med.harvard.edu

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Only limited information exists about the epidemiology of DSM-IV panic attacks (PAs) and panic disorder (PD).

OBJECTIVE:

To present nationally representative data about the epidemiology of PAs and PD with or without agoraphobia (AG) on the basis of the US National Comorbidity Survey Replication findings.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Nationally representative face-to-face household survey conducted using the fully structured World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview.

PARTICIPANTS:

English-speaking respondents (N=9282) 18 years or older.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Respondents who met DSM-IV lifetime criteria for PAs and PD with and without AG.

RESULTS:

Lifetime prevalence estimates are 22.7% for isolated panic without AG (PA only), 0.8% for PA with AG without PD (PA-AG), 3.7% for PD without AG (PD only), and 1.1% for PD with AG (PD-AG). Persistence, lifetime number of attacks, and number of years with attacks increase monotonically across these 4 subgroups. All 4 subgroups are significantly comorbid with other lifetime DSM-IV disorders, with the highest odds for PD-AG and the lowest for PA only. Scores on the Panic Disorder Severity Scale are also highest for PD-AG (86.3% moderate or severe) and lowest for PA only (6.7% moderate or severe). Agoraphobia is associated with substantial severity, impairment, and comorbidity. Lifetime treatment is high (from 96.1% for PD-AG to 61.1% for PA only), but 12-month treatment meeting published treatment guidelines is low (from 54.9% for PD-AG to 18.2% for PA only).

CONCLUSION:

Although the major societal burden of panic is caused by PD and PA-AG, isolated PAs also have high prevalence and meaningful role impairment.

PMID:
16585471
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1958997
Free PMC Article
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