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Perievent panic attacks and panic disorder after mass trauma: a 12-month longitudinal study.

Wood CM, et al. J Trauma Stress. 2013.


Panic attacks frequently lead to psychopathological disorders, including panic disorder. Even though panic disorder is a highly comorbid and disabling mental health problem associated with stressful life or traumatic events, perievent panic attacks and their association with panic disorder have hardly been investigated as a central topic after mass trauma. Using data from a longitudinal population-based assessment of Madrid residents after the March 11, 2004 train bombings (N = 1,589), with assessments conducted 1, 6, and 12 months after the attacks, the rate of perievent panic attacks was 10.9%. Level of exposure, previous life stressors, and negative emotionality were associated with perievent panic attacks (β = .12, .15, and .10, respectively), which in turn mediated the relationship between exposure to the terrorist event and panic disorder in the following year. Previous life stressors (β = .15) and low social support (β = -.14) were directly associated with panic disorder during the subsequent year. The most vulnerable individuals who experienced perievent panic attacks were 3.7 times, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [2.1, 6.4], more likely to suffer from panic disorder in the following year. Results suggest that early identification of perievent panic attacks following mass trauma may be helpful for reducing panic disorder.

Copyright © 2013 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.


23696332 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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