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Compr Psychiatry. 2013 Jul;54(5):517-22. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2012.12.013. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

Alexithymia, suicide risk and serum lipid levels among adult outpatients with panic disorder.

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  • 1Department of Neurosciences and Imaging, Chair of Psychiatry, University "G. D'Annunzio" of Chieti, Italy. dodebera@aliceposta.it


To elucidate the relationships between alexithymia, suicide ideation and serum lipid levels in drug-naïve adult outpatients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of Panic Disorder (PD), 72 patients were evaluated. Measures were the Panic Attack and Anticipatory Anxiety Scale, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Scale of Suicide Ideation (SSI) and the Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Alexithymic patients showed higher scores on all rating scales and altered serum lipid levels than non-alexithymics. In the hierarchical regression model, the presence of lower HDL-C and higher VLDL-C levels and Difficulty in Identifying Feelings dimension of TAS-20 were associated with higher suicide ideation. In conclusion, alexithymic individuals with PD may show a cholesterol dysregulation that may be linked to suicide ideation. The authors discuss study limitations and future research needs.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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