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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2011 Feb;13(1):18-25. doi: 10.1007/s11920-010-0164-0.

Joint hypermobility and anxiety: the state of the art.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Miguel Servet University Hospital, Aragonese Institute of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Spain.


Joint hypermobility (JH) is considered a common benign, hereditary, overlap, connective tissue disorder with a prevalence in the general population of about 10% in European populations and 25% in other ethnic groups. JH shows an association with mitral valve prolapse and fibromyalgia. However, the most significant and important association between joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) and any other disorder from a clinical point of view is with panic disorder. This article summarizes all published studies on JHS and anxiety, analyzing the main results and limitations. An overview of the etiologic explanation of the association between JH and anxiety, with special focus on genetic findings, is also included. The most relevant conclusions are the following: JHS is more prevalent in individuals with panic disorder/agoraphobia, and patients with JHS present with greater prevalence of panic disorder/agoraphobia. In addition, there is an association between JHS severity and severity of anxiety, and mitral valve prolapse plays a secondary role in the association between JHS and anxiety. New fields of research based on these data are suggested.

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