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September 1984

Family Study Methodology

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry University of Iowa College of Medicine Iowa City, Iowa 52242
Department of Epidemiology Graduate School of Public Health University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 15261
University of Texas Health Science Center 16250 Houston Main Bldg 1100 Holcombe Blvd Houston, TX 77030
Mental Health Center of Rock Island and Mercer County Rock Island, IL 61201

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(9):919. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790200101014

To the Editor.—  In response to the letter by Leckman et al that appeared in the July Archives,1 we agree that the differences in results probably reflect differences in the methods of these studies. First, they are fundamentally different studies, as Dr Leckman pointed out. Ours were studies of patients with primary anxiety disorders2,3 and theirs was a study of primary affective disorder,4 so the difference in results may simply indicate that patients with primary depressive disorder who have panic attacks are not the same as patients with primary anxiety disorder. We doubt that differences in the selection of our controls account for the difference in the study results—while three of our control probands had major depressive disorder, only two (0.8%) of the relatives in their study were so diagnosed.Dr Leckman's final two points dealt with the handling of primary and secondary cases of both anxiety

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