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REGULAR ARTICLES   |    
Clinical correlates of early-onset and late-onset poststroke generalized anxiety
Am J Psychiatry 1995;152:1174-1179.
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The authors' goal was to determine if generalized anxiety diagnosed while a patient was hospitalized for stroke (early onset) had the same clinical correlates as anxiety beginning 3 months or more after the stroke (late onset). METHOD: Patients with acute stroke (N = 142) were examined while they were in the hospital and 3, 6, 12, and 24 months later for the presence of anxiety symptoms. Patients underwent a structured psychiatric interview as well as assessment of cognitive, physical, and social function at each visit. Patients with early-onset and late-onset poststroke generalized anxiety were identified and compared to patients without poststroke generalized anxiety. RESULTS: The frequency of early-onset poststroke generalized anxiety was 27% and that of late-onset poststroke generalized anxiety was 23%. Three- quarters of the anxious patients had comorbid major or minor depression. Patients who developed early-onset or late-onset poststroke generalized anxiety were no more socially, cognitively, or physically impaired than patients who did not develop anxiety. Early-onset but not late-onset anxiety was associated with a previous history of psychiatric disorder. The median duration of late-onset anxiety was 3.0 months, and that of early-onset anxiety was 1.5 months. The presence of anxiety was significantly associated with depression; onset of depression and onset of anxiety occurred at approximately the same time. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that although early-onset and late-onset poststroke generalized anxiety are phenomenologically similar, they may be the result of different pathophysiological mechanisms.

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