Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Anxiety Disord. 2009 Jun;23(5):684-93. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2009.02.007. Epub 2009 Feb 14.

Association between generalized anxiety levels and pain in a community sample: evidence for diagnostic specificity.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität Dresden, Chemnitzer Str. 46, 01187 Dresden, Germany.



It is unclear whether generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has a specific relationship to pain syndromes, going beyond the established association of pain with anxiety syndromes in general.


Mental disorders were assessed in a community sample (N=4181; 18-65 years) using the DSM-IV/M-CIDI. Several threshold definitions were used to define GAD and medically unexplained pain.


The association between pain and GAD (odds ratio, OR=5.8 pain symptoms; OR=16.0 pain disorder) is stronger than the association between pain and other anxiety disorders (OR=2.4 pain symptoms; OR=4.0 pain disorder). This association extends to subthreshold level definitions of GAD with some indication for a non-linear dose-response relationship. The GAD-pain link cannot sufficiently be explained by demographic factors, comorbid mental or physical disorders.


The association of pain and generalized anxiety is not artifactual. Compared to other anxiety syndromes, it appears to be stronger and more specific suggesting the need to explore clinical and public health implications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk