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Relationship between separation anxiety disorder, parental panic disorder, and atopic disorders in children: a controlled high-risk study.

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Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



To test the hypotheses that rates of atopic disorders are elevated in offspring of parents with panic disorder (PD) and in children with separation anxiety disorder (SAD).


Rates of atopic disorders were assessed in 343 offspring (aged 6-17 years) of parents with PD, nonpanic psychiatric disorders, and no psychiatric disorder. Lifetime history of atopic disorders was determined by parental responses to a clinician-administered questionnaire assessing medical treatment for asthma and allergies. Logistic regression analyses assessed the association between atopic disorders and parental PD, and between atopic disorders and probable or definite childhood SAD. Analyses controlled for age, sex, socioeconomic status, and treatment for other medical illnesses.


Increased rates of atopic disorders were found in offspring of parents with PD (odds ratio [OR] = 2.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.27-5.16, p = .009) and in children with SAD (OR = 2.71, 95% Cl = 1.22-6.03, p = .015). Associations remained significant when both parental PD and SAD were included in the model, suggesting that each contributed independently to increased rates of atopy. The interaction of parental PD and child SAD was not significant.


Atopic disorders in children are associated with parental PD and with childhood SAD. Results do not appear to support that having both childhood SAD and a parent with PD confers increased risk for atopic disorders above and beyond either condition alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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