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J Anxiety Disord. 2004;18(6):841-58.

Late-life anxiety disorders among Puerto Rican primary care patients: impact on well-being, functioning, and service utilization.

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Anxiety Disorders Center, The Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital, 200 Retreat Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106, USA.


With the growing population of older Hispanic adults there is a need for additional research on the mental health care of this patient group. This study explored the impact of anxiety disorders on the health status of 291 older (>/=50 years) Puerto Rican primary care patients (n = 65 with anxiety disorders, n = 226 without anxiety disorders). All analyses controlled for potential confounding variables, including depression diagnosis and physical health burden. Logistic regression indicated that anxiety disorders were associated with higher psychological distress, suicidality, and emergency room service utilization, as well as lower instrumental functioning and perceived health quality. Analysis of covariance indicated that both anxiety disorder status and history of ataque de nervios were related to higher percentages of lifetime somatic symptoms. These data highlight the need for improved recognition and treatment of anxiety disorders in older Puerto Rican adults.

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