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Letter to the Editor   |    
Panic Disorder and Respiratory Tract Symptoms
BARBARA L. KENNEDY, M.D., PH.D.
Am J Psychiatry 2002;159:1438-a-1438. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.159.8.1438-a

To the Editor: In a recent article, Javaid I. Sheikh, M.D., M.B.A., et al. (1) found that female respondents with panic attacks were more likely to experience respiratory-related difficulties than male respondents with panic attacks. In an earlier article (2), we did not find more visits to pulmonary doctors by patients with panic disorder, but we did find that 44% of the patients with panic disorder visited ear, nose, and throat specialists in the past year. Also, we recently found a high incidence of allergies in patients with panic disorder (3). Moreover, the patients with panic disorder and allergies endorsed significantly more respiratory symptoms on the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale than did the nonallergic patients with panic disorder (3). We do not have data regarding gender and these variables, but there were 52% women and 48% men in the study.

These findings suggest that in subjects with panic disorder, studies should identify gender, allergy status, and respiratory symptoms. Studies of carbon dioxide sensitivity in allergic female subjects with panic disorder would be of interest.

Sheikh JI, Leskin GA, Klein DF: Gender differences in panic disorder: findings from the National Comorbidity Survey. Am J Psychiatry  2002; 159:55-58
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Kennedy BL, Schwab JJ: Utilization of medical specialists by anxiety disorder patients. Psychosomatics  1997; 38:109-112
[PubMed]
 
Kennedy BL, Morris RL, Schwab JJ: Allergy in panic disorder patients: a preliminary report. Gen Hosp Psychiatry (in press)
 
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References

Sheikh JI, Leskin GA, Klein DF: Gender differences in panic disorder: findings from the National Comorbidity Survey. Am J Psychiatry  2002; 159:55-58
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Kennedy BL, Schwab JJ: Utilization of medical specialists by anxiety disorder patients. Psychosomatics  1997; 38:109-112
[PubMed]
 
Kennedy BL, Morris RL, Schwab JJ: Allergy in panic disorder patients: a preliminary report. Gen Hosp Psychiatry (in press)
 
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