Of 20 patients suffering from panic disorder with agoraphobia, 18
reported experiencing agoraphobic avoidance, generalized anxiety, and/or
hypochondriacal fears and beliefs before the first panic attack. The
prevalence of these symptoms in the patients was significantly higher than
the prevalence in 20 healthy control subjects. The results indicate that
phobic avoidance in panic disorder with agoraphobia may not be secondary to
the panic attacks, a finding that runs counter to the current DSM-III-R
classification of anxiety disorders.