Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Anxiety Disorders Are Linked to Many Medical Conditions

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Anxiety Disorders Are Linked to Many Medical Conditions

Article excerpt

SEATTLE -- Anxiety disorders are associated with a wide range of physical health problems, even after adjustment for other common mental disorders such as depression, Dr. Jitender Sareen said in a poster presentation at the annual conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

"There has long been an interest in understanding how depression affects physical health," said Dr. Sareen of the department of psychiatry at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. "However, there have only been a few studies which have examined the relationship between anxiety disorders and medical conditions."

The researchers used data derived from the U.S. National Comorbidity Survey, a national representative sample of 5,877 individuals aged 15-54 years, to examine the relationship between anxiety disorders and a wide range of medical conditions. They used the Composite International Diagnostic Interview to make DSM-III-R mental disorder diagnoses, and assessed participants' general physical conditions on the basis of self-report. Multiple logistic regression was used to analyze the relationship between a past-year anxiety disorder diagnosis and past-year chronic physical illness.

Anxiety disorders diagnosed among the survey participants during the previous year included posttraumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, and social phobia.

The investigators looked at disability and functional impairment, and then controlled for factors such as depression, alcohol use, and pain. …

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