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J Affect Disord. 1994 Sep;32(1):51-9.

Panic attacks and panic disorder in Japanese non-patient population: epidemiology and psychosocial correlates.

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  • 1Department of Sociocultural Environmental Research, National Institute of Mental Health, Ichikawa, Japan.


To investigate the prevalence rates of panic disorder and panic attacks in the general population of Japan, a set of questionnaires were administered to 207 people aged 18 or over, who were then interviewed. Seven (3.4%) had experienced one or more unexpected panic attacks in their lifetime. Two subjects (1.0%) had had panic disorder (DSM-III-R), and five (2.4%) had had panic attacks not meeting the criteria for panic disorder. Seventy percent of the persons with panic disorder or panic attacks had sought medical care. There was comorbidity with agoraphobia in two cases, and with major depression in five. Harsh discipline, frequent quarrel, between parents, and serious illness before the age of 16 were more frequent in individuals suffering from panic attacks, compared to those without.

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