June 1982

Excess Mortality in Panic DisorderA Comparison With Primary Unipolar Depression

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(6):701-703. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290060051010

• We located 113 former inpatients with panic disorder 35 years after index admission. According to age-and sex-specific Iowa population figures, patients with panic disorder had significant excess mortality due to death by unnatural causes. Other studies suggest that secondary depression and alcoholism may have had a role in these deaths. Men with panic disorder also exhibited excess mortality due to circulatory system disease. In an age-and sex-matched patient group with primary unipolar depression, both men and women showed excess mortality. Suicide accounted for 20.0% and 16.2% of deaths in the panic disorder and primary depression groups, respectively. We conclude that panic disorder accounted for much of the excess mortality formerly noted in the "neuroses."