This work may not be copied, distributed, displayed, published, reproduced, transmitted, modified, posted, sold, licensed, or used for commercial purposes. By downloading this file, you are agreeing to the publisher’s Terms & Conditions.

Original Research

A Comparison of Persons With Early- Versus Late-Onset Panic Attacks

David A. Katerndahl and Melissa Talamantes

Published: November 30, 2000

Article Abstract

Background: Although some evidence suggests abimodal age at onset of panic attacks, the literature comparingsubjects with early versus late onset is limited. Previous worksuggests that people with late-onset panic attacks may have fewerpanic symptoms and exhibit less avoidance. This study sought tocompare late-onset panic attacks and early-onset panic attackswith regard to (1) comorbidity, (2) health care utilization, and(3) illness behaviors and coping.

Method: This community-based study involvedinterviewing randomly selected adults for the presence ofDSM-III-R panic attacks. If panic attacks were confirmed,subjects were asked questions concerning panic characteristics,psychiatric comorbidity, symptom perceptions, illness attitudes,coping, and family characteristics. Subjects reportingearly-onset panic (panic onset = 50 years ofage). Significant univariate analyses were controlled fordifferences in age, panic duration, and socioeconomic status byusing analysis of covariance and logistic regression.

Results: Subjects with late-onset panic attacks(N = 9) utilized the mental health sector less, but were morelikely to present to family physicians for their worst panic.Patients with late-onset panic felt that choking and numbnessmore strongly disrupted function, but felt less strongly thateither depersonalization or sweating disrupted function. Subjectswith late-onset had fewer comorbid conditions and lower SymptomChecklist-90 scores. Late-onset subjects also had lesshypochondriasis and thanatophobia while coping less throughavoidance or wishful thinking.

Conclusion: Late-onset panic attacks areassociated with less mental health utilization, lower levels ofcomorbidity, less hypochondriasis, and a greater number ofpositive coping behaviors.

Volume: 61

Quick Links:

Continue Reading…

Subscribe to read the entire article


Buy this Article as a PDF