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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1991 Nov;84(5):446-52.

The natural history of anxiety disorders.

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  • 1Research Department, Psychiatric University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract

The article reviews research and presents our results on the natural history of 2 forms of anxiety disorder, panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Data from our epidemiological cohort study give evidence of premorbid anxiousness and overadaptation already in childhood. Distressing conditions in the family are more prevalent among subjects with anxiety disorders or major depression than among controls. Anxiety disorders frequently begin between age 20-30 and can be triggered by life events. The course is often characterized by a certain chronicity that manifests itself in residual symptoms and mild impairment in social roles even after many years and is frequently complicated with depression. The best predictors are severity and duration of symptoms, as well as comorbidity with depression. Future studies of the natural history should take into account these factors in multivariate approaches.

PMID:
1776498
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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