Age at onset of panic disorder: Influence of familial liability to the disease and of childhood separation anxiety disorder

M. Battaglia, S. Bertella, E. Politi, L. Bernardeschi, G. Perna, A. Gabriele, L. Bellodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The authors investigated the relation of age at onset of panic disorder to liability to panic disorder and agoraphobia. Method: Two hundred thirty-one outpatients with panic disorder were compared with 131 surgical outpatients on demographic variables and familial risk of psychiatric disorders. The distribution of patients' ages at onset of panic disorder and several covariates were entered in a stepwise survival analysis. Results: The patients with panic disorder had a significantly higher rate of childhood separation anxiety disorder and higher familial risks of panic disorder/panic disorder with agoraphobia and alcoholism. A family history of panic disorder with agoraphobia and the presence of childhood separation anxiety disorder influenced age at onset of panic disorder. Conclusions: Age at onset of panic disorder may reflect genetic penetrance, and separation anxiety disorder may be an individual predictor of earlier onset of panic disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1362-1364
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume152
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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