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Bull Menninger Clin. 1996 Spring;60(2 Suppl A):A12-38.

Panic disorder and medical comorbidity: a review of the medical and psychiatric literature.

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  • 1University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 98195, USA.


Epidemiological studies have found significant comorbidity between panic disorder and many medical illnesses. The authors discuss the accumulating psychiatric and medical literature addressing comorbidity between panic disorder and cardiac, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological illnesses. Cardiac symptoms such as chest pain and palpitations, as well as certain disorders such as mitral valve prolapse, hypertension, and cardiomyopathy, share significant comorbidity with panic disorder. Researchers have also shown significant comorbidity between panic disorder and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraine headache. Pathophysiological mechanisms that may explain the association between panic disorder and comorbid medical illnesses, such as autonomic dysregulation of cardiac activity and smooth muscle tone and dynamic abnormalities of the coronary microvasculature, are discussed as well.

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