The authors examined the number, type, and effect of life events during
the year before the onset of panic attacks in 44 patients with a Research
Diagnostic Criteria diagnosis of panic disorder and 44 healthy control
subjects matched for age, sex, and time of retrospection. The patients had
significantly more life events, and these events had a more adverse impact
on them. Furthermore, the types of events experienced by the patients were
more typically distressing than those experienced by the control subjects.
The patients reported events involving moves to other neighborhoods and/or
cities far more frequently than did the control subjects.