Background: The aim of this study was to analyze the lifetime comorbidity between DSM-III-R anxiety disorders in separate subgroups of patients with major depression, bipolar II and bipolar I disorder in a community sample of a Hungarian population.
Methods: Randomly selected subjects (aged between 18 and 64 years, N=2953) were interviewed by the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) which generated DSM-III-R diagnoses.
Results: The prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia and simple phobia was the highest among bipolar II patients (20.8, 37.5 and 16.7%, respectively), social phobia was most prevalent in (nonbipolar) major depression (17.6%), while the rate of panic disorder was the same in the (nonbipolar) major depressive and bipolar II subgroups (12.4 and 12.5%, respectively). Bipolar I patients showed a relatively low rate of comorbidity.
Conclusions: The findings support previous results on the particularly high rate of lifetime comorbidity between anxiety disorders and unipolar major depression and particularly bipolar II illness.
Limitations: Underestimation of the prevalence of bipolar II disorder by the diagnostic methodology used, resulting in a small number of bipolar II cases, lack of analysis of data by gender, no data on obsessive-compulsive disorder.