Panic disorder and the heart: a cardiology perspective

J Psychosom Res. Apr-May 2000;48(4-5):393-403. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(99)00103-8.


Panic disorder is a common condition that includes symptoms that may masquerade as a primary cardiovascular disorder. In addition, many patients with cardiovascular disease may also have panic disorder. To date, no definitive pathophysiological mechanism for panic disorder has been found; however, there are several hypotheses in the literature. Patients with syndrome X, coronary artery disease and/or palpitations, in addition to panic disorder all present to cardiologists. However, many patients go undiagnosed and ultimately place large costs on the health care system as a result. Panic disorder is a treatable condition, and cardiologists could easily identify patients with panic disorder and initiate appropriate therapy and/or referral.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / psychology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Panic Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Panic Disorder / etiology
  • Panic Disorder / therapy
  • Referral and Consultation