Anxiety sensitivity and 35% CO2 reactivity in patients with panic disorder

Giampaolo Perna, Pietra Romano, Daniela Caldirola, Michele Cucchi, Laura Bellodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The present study examines the possible relationships between anxiety sensitivity (AS) and reactivity to the 35% carbon dioxide (CO 2) challenge in panic disorder (PD). Methods: One-hundred eight patients with PD underwent the 35% CO2 challenge and completed the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI). Multiple regression analyses were applied to evaluate the role of AS as a predictor of CO2-induced anxiety. Results: Fifty-six patients with PD showed high AS scores, whereas 48 showed medium scores and 4 low scores. ASI scores significantly predicted symptomatological reaction to CO2 but not subjective induced anxiety. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the fear of anxiety-related bodily sensations was related to the symptomatological reactivity to CO2 but did not seem to play a crucial role in the modulation of the subjective anxiogenic/panicogenic response to hypercapnia in patients with PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-577
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Cognitive
  • Panic disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)


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