Frequency of anxiety disorders in psychiatric outpatients with major depressive disorder

Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Aug;157(8):1337-40. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.157.8.1337.


Objective: The authors determined the frequency of anxiety disorders in a large group of depressed outpatients seeking treatment.

Method: The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV was administered to 373 depressed outpatients.

Results: More than one-half of the patients met the full criteria for a current anxiety disorder, and more than one-half of the patients with an anxiety disorder had more than one. When partial remissions and anxiety disorder diagnoses classified as "not otherwise specified" were included, two-thirds of the patients had a current anxiety disorder and three-quarters had a lifetime history of an anxiety disorder.

Conclusions: The majority of patients with a principal diagnosis of unipolar major depressive disorder have a comorbid anxiety disorder. Because antidepressant medications have differential efficacies for anxiety disorders, knowledge of the presence of a comorbid anxiety disorder in a depressed patient may have treatment implications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Phobic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Rhode Island / epidemiology