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Compr Psychiatry. 2008 Nov-Dec;49(6):537-43. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2008.02.009. Epub 2008 Mar 28.

Co-occurrence of Axis I and Axis II disorders in female and male patients with panic disorder with agoraphobia.

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Discipline of Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney/Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia; Department of Psychological Medicine, Nepean Hospital, Sydney/Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia.



The aim of this study is to compare female and male patients with panic disorder with agoraphobia (PDA) for the co-occurring Axis I and Axis II (personality) disorders, to better understand sex differences in PDA.


The Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) Axis I Disorders, Clinician Version and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders were administered to 157 consecutive outpatients (112 females and 45 males) with principal diagnosis of PDA, who sought treatment at the 2 anxiety disorders clinics. Women and men with PDA were then compared with regard to the type and frequency of the co-occurring Axis I and Axis II disorders.


Women with PDA had a statistically greater tendency to receive co-occurring Axis I diagnoses and a greater number of Axis I diagnoses than men. Such a difference was not found for personality disorders. However, no sex difference was found for the mean number of co-occurring Axis I and Axis II diagnoses per patient. There were significantly more women with at least one co-occurring anxiety disorder. Women had a significantly higher frequency of specific phobia, whereas men were diagnosed with hypochondriasis and past alcohol abuse or dependence significantly more often. With regard to Axis II disorders, the only significant sex difference pertained to the higher frequency of dependent personality disorder among women.


The results of this study suggest that there are more similarities than differences between sexes in the co-occurring Axis I and Axis II disorders. Still, the relatively specific relationships between PDA and excessive alcohol use in men and between PDA and dependent personality traits and personality disorder in women seem important and have implications for clinical practice and treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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