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. 2010 Mar;24(2):183-8.
doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2009.10.006. Epub 2009 Oct 27.

Comorbid Panic Attacks Among Individuals With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Associations With Traumatic Event Exposure History, Symptoms, and Impairment

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Comorbid Panic Attacks Among Individuals With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Associations With Traumatic Event Exposure History, Symptoms, and Impairment

Jesse R Cougle et al. J Anxiety Disord. .

Abstract

Little is known about the prevalence of panic attacks in PTSD and their influence on symptom severity and disability. Utilizing the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication data, respondents meeting DSM-IV criteria for past year PTSD (n=203) with and without comorbid panic attacks were compared across various dimensions. Past year panic attacks were found among 35% of the sample and were associated with greater PTSD-related disability and less time spent at work. Panic attacks were also associated with greater prevalence of comorbid depression, substance abuse/dependence, medically unexplained chronic pain, number of anxiety disorders and lifetime traumatic events, PTSD reexperiencing and avoidance/numbing symptoms, and treatment-seeking related to traumatic stress reactions. Multivariate analyses revealed that panic attacks were one of the only unique predictors of severe PTSD-related disability. Overall, findings suggest that panic attacks are common among individuals with PTSD; therapeutic strategies targeting panic in this population may be of significant benefit.

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