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Behav Brain Funct. 2007 Aug 18;3:41.

Lack of association between the Serotonin Transporter Promoter Polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and Panic Disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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  • 1Post-Graduate Program in Medical Sciences, Psychiatry, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul and Anxiety Disorders Program, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, Brazil.



The aim of this study is to assess the association between the Serotonin Transporter Promoter Polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and Panic Disorder (PD).


This is a systematic review and meta-analysis of case-control studies with unrelated individuals of any ethnic origin examining the role of the 5-HTTLPR in PD according to standard diagnostic criteria (DSM or ICD). Articles published in any language between January 1996 and April 2007 were eligible. The electronic databases searched included PubMed, PsychInfo, Lilacs and ISI. Two separate analyses were performed: an analysis by alleles and a stratified analysis separating studies by the quality of control groups. Asymptotic DerSimonian and Laird's Q test were used to assess heterogeneity. Results of individual studies were combined using the fixed effect model with respective 95% confidence intervals.


Nineteen potential articles were identified, and 10 studies were included in this meta-analysis. No statistically significant association between 5-HTTLPR and PD was found, OR = 0.91 (CI95% 0.80 to 1.03, p = 0.14). Three sub-analyses divided by ethnicity, control group quality and Agoraphobia comorbidity also failed to find any significant association. No evidence of heterogeneity was found between studies in the analyses.


Results from this systematic review do not provide evidence to support an association between 5-HTTLPR and PD. However, more studies are needed in different ethnic populations in order to evaluate a possible minor effect.

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