Cardiology patients with normal coronary angiography demonstrate continuing and substantial social, health, and work disability. We hypothesized that the diagnosis of panic disorder would mark those for whom continuing disability is most likely. We interviewed 72 such patients at the time of their normal angiogram, and then again an average of 38 months later. Those with panic disorder (n = 36) demonstrated significantly more disability at follow-up than did the other study patients. We conclude that those patients with normal angiograms who have panic disorder are more disabled than those who do not have panic disorder. Panic disorder in psychiatric samples has been shown to be highly treatable. Therefore, early identification and treatment of panic disorder in this group is likely to minimize the suffering associated with this condition.
Beitman BD, Kushner MG, Basha I, Lamberti J, Mukerji V, Bartels K. Follow-up Status of Patients With Angiographically Normal Coronary Arteries and Panic Disorder. JAMA. 1991;265(12):1545–1549. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460120059036