Indexed on: 20 Mar '04Published on: 20 Mar '04Published in: Psychotherapy and psychosomatics
To determine the association between panic attacks and the risk of major depression among young adults in the community.Data were drawn from a 21-year longitudinal birth cohort study (n = 1, 265). Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to determine the association between panic attacks in adolescence (age 15-21 years) and the risk of current major depression (past month).Having a panic attack in the preceding 3 years was significantly associated with elevated risk of current major depression (past month) at the ages of 18 and 21. This association persisted after adjusting for a range of fixed social, family and individual risk factors for psychopathology, history of major depression, comorbid psychiatric disorder and life adversity among both males (OR = 8.9; 95% CI = 3.9-20.4) and females (OR = 2.3; 95% CI = 1.2-4.2).These data are consistent with and extend previous work by showing that panic attack increases the risk of current major depression, independent of the effects of psychiatric comorbidity and other early risk factors for psychopathology, though much of this relationship appears to be explained by common risk factors and comorbidity. These data show new evidence of interaction between gender and panic attacks in the risk of depression among young persons. Replication of these findings is needed, as are future studies that further investigate the underlying mechanism of this association.