Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Panic Symptoms Common in Diabetes Patients

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Panic Symptoms Common in Diabetes Patients

Article excerpt

VANCOUVER, B. C. -- Panic symptoms affect many patients with diabetes and are linked to depression and diabetes-related disability, Evette Ludman, Ph.D., and her associates reported in a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society.

Like other forms of anxiety, panic symptoms in diabetic patients are often associated with depression as well as poor diabetes-related functional and clinical indicators.

"Clinicians treating diabetic patients should be alert for panic symptoms as well as depressive symptoms. Panic episodes may be mistaken for hypoglycemia," said Dr. Ludman, senior research associate at the Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative (GHC), Seattle.

In a National Institute of Mental Health-supported study--the first to look specifically at panic symptoms in diabetic patients--surveys were sent to 9.063 individuals in a population-based diabetes registry from nine primary care clinics of GHC, a large HMO in western Washington. Complete data were available for 4,385, of whom 4.4% met criteria for panic disorder, defined as answering "yes" both when asked if they'd had "spells of panic or fear" during the past 2 weeks, and when asked if these feelings "forced you to change what you were doing at the time. …

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