Psychiatric illness according to DSM-III-R criteria was investigated in 54 consecutive patients suffering from cardiac neurosis (neurocirculatory asthenia or Da Costa's syndrome). Thirty-seven of the 54 patients (68.5%) were found to suffer from a psychiatric disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia and panic disorder accounted for most of the diagnoses. Panic disorder was frequently preceded by (and associated with) generalized anxiety, phobic avoidance and hypochondriasis. The results should alert the physician to inquire for symptoms of an anxiety disorder when a patient presents with cardiac neurosis.