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Women at Greater Risk Than Men of Comorbid Depression and Panic Disorder: Presented at APA


WASHINGTON, DC -- Women appear to be at greater risk than men of having comorbid depression and panic disorder, researchers reported here at the 161st Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

Eun Ji Kim, MD, Resident in Psychiatry, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues reported on their comparison between comorbid anxiety and comorbid depression in panic disorder.

Since depressive and anxiety disorders are common in panic disorder, the investigators compared the comorbid occurrence of depression and anxiety with panic disorder.

"We wanted to document differences in clinical and symptom features in patients with comorbid depression and panic disorder and those with comorbid anxiety and panic disorder," explained Dr. Kim

The researchers assessed the presence of comorbid psychiatric disorders in 306 patients who completed the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Anxiety Sensitivity Index and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Hamilton Anxiety Scale, Hamilton Depression Scale, and Global Assessment of Functioning.

Forty percent of patients with panic disorder were found to have at least 1 comorbid psychiatric diagnosis. There were no differences among groups in gender, agoraphobia comorbidity, or duration of panic disorder.

Age of onset of panic disorder, however, differed significantly between groups ( P = .027). Statistically significant differences were also found between depressive disorder comorbidity and anxiety disorder comorbidity in gender ( P = .016). Female patients with panic disorder were more likely to have depressive disorder than male patients with panic disorder.

Dr. Kim concluded that female gender is a risk factor for comorbid depressive and panic disorder.

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