Psychological Medicine



Panic attacks and the risk of personality disorder


RENEE D. GOODWIN a1c1, JUDITH S. BROOK a2 and PATRICIA COHEN a1a3
a1 Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA
a2 Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, USA
a3 New York State Psychiatric Institute, NY, USA

Article author query
goodwin rd   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
brook js   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
cohen p   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Objective. The goal of this study is to determine the association between panic attacks in adolescence and the risk of personality disorders during young adulthood.

Method. Data were drawn from the Children in the Community Study, a longitudinal epidemiological study of psychopathology across the life-course in 717 individuals in the community. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to determine the association between panic attacks during adolescence in 1983 and the risk of personality disorders during young adulthood in 1993, adjusting for differences in sociodemographic characteristics, adolescent personality disorders, and co-morbid depressive and substance use disorders.

Results. Panic attacks during adolescence (in 1983) were associated with an increased risk of any DSM-IV personality disorder (in 1993) during young adulthood, which persisted after adjusting for differences in sociodemographic characteristics, adolescent personality disorders, and co-morbid depressive and substance use disorders. Panic attacks were associated with a statistically significantly increased risk of Cluster A, B, and C personality disorders.

Conclusions. These data provide initial evidence that panic attacks early in life are a marker or risk factor for the development of personality disorders in young adulthood. Replication of these findings is needed, as is more in-depth investigation into the mechanism of this link. If replicated in future research, these results may reveal a novel potential pathway for identifying youth at high risk for personality disorders.


Correspondence:
c1 Dr Renee Goodwin, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 43, New York, NY 10032, USA. (Email: rdg66@columbia.edu)


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