Anxiety disorders and comorbid medical illness

University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
General Hospital Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.9). 05/2008; 30(3):208-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2007.12.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To provide an overview of the role of anxiety disorders in medical illness.
The Anxiety Disorders Association of America held a multidisciplinary conference from which conference leaders and speakers reviewed presentations and discussions, considered literature on prevalence, comorbidity, etiology and treatment, and made recommendations for research. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), asthma, cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer and chronic pain were reviewed.
A substantial literature supports clinically important associations between psychiatric illness and chronic medical conditions. Most research focuses on depression, finding that depression can adversely affect self-care and increase the risk of incident medical illness, complications and mortality. Anxiety disorders are less well studied, but robust epidemiological and clinical evidence shows that anxiety disorders play an equally important role. Biological theories of the interactions between anxiety and IBS, CVD and chronic pain are presented. Available data suggest that anxiety disorders in medically ill patients should not be ignored and could be considered conjointly with depression when developing strategies for screening and intervention, particularly in primary care.
Emerging data offer a strong argument for the role of anxiety in medical illness and suggest that anxiety disorders rival depression in terms of risk, comorbidity and outcome. Research programs designed to advance our understanding of the impact of anxiety disorders on medical illness are needed to develop evidence-based approaches to improving patient care.

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose There is a paucity of research examining the relationship between personality disorders (PDs) and chronic physical comorbidities. Consequently, we investigated associations between individual PDs and PD Clusters, and various common disease groups [cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, arthritis and gastrointestinal disease (GI)] in a nationally representative survey of adults from the United States. Methods This study utilized pooled data (n = 34,653; ≥20 years) from Waves 1 and 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. PDs were assessed using the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Physical conditions were based on self-reports of being diagnosed by a health professional. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regressions examined the relationship between PDs and physical conditions. Results After adjustment (sociodemographic factors, past-year mood, anxiety and substance use disorders), Clusters A, B and C PDs were each associated with physical conditions (all p ≤ 0.01). Of the individual PDs, schizoid, schizotypal, narcissistic, borderline and obsessive–compulsive PDs were associated with CVD (all p ≤ 0.01) among younger adults. Paranoid, antisocial, borderline and avoidant PDs and younger adults with schizoid, schizotypal and obsessive–compulsive PDs were each associated with arthritis (all p ≤ 0.01). Significant associations were seen between paranoid, schizoid and schizotypal PDs and diabetes (all p ≤ 0.01). Finally, schizotypal, antisocial, borderline and narcissistic PDs were associated with GI conditions (all p ≤ 0.01). Conclusions PDs were consistently associated with physical conditions. Investigation of PDs and their relationship with physical health outcomes warrant further research attention as these findings have important clinical implications.
    Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 10/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00127-014-0974-1 · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite substantial research on the comorbidity of anxiety disorders including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain, little is known about the mechanisms underlying these conditions that might be potentially similar. Evoked pain sensitivity is one factor that has been associated with several pain conditions which might also have relevance to anxiety disorders and PTSD. The aim of this preliminary study was to examine evoked pain sensitivity in PTSD compared to other anxiety disorders and in control participants. The study used a cross-sectional case-control design in which participants completed a battery of questionnaires and structured interview and underwent cold pressor testing. Of 61 total participants, those in the PTSD (n =16) and other anxiety groups (n =12) endorsed significantly higher levels of psychological symptoms and poorer health functioning than control participants (n =33). The linear trend across baseline, threshold, and tolerance pain ratings from the cold pressor task significantly differed between participants with PTSD and the other anxiety and control groups suggesting lower pain sensitivity to a standardized stimulus of pain in individuals with PTSD. These findings are similar to some of the prior research and suggest that individuals with PTSD may exhibit lower cold pain sensitivity compared to those with other anxiety disorders. There is a need for future research to determine explanatory mechanisms.
    Annals of General Psychiatry 12/2014; 13(1):31. DOI:10.1186/s12991-014-0031-1 · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose To provide the 4-week prevalence estimates of mental disorders in cancer populations. Patients and Methods We enrolled adult patients with cancer from in- and outpatient care facilities, using a proportional stratified random sample based on the nationwide cancer incidence in Germany. Patients who scored 9 or above on the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) were administered to the standardized computer-assisted Composite International Diagnostic Interview for mental disorders adapted for cancer patients (CIDI-O). A random sample of those with a PHQ-9 score that was less than 9 were selected for a CIDI-O. Results A total of 5,889 patients were identified, which led to 4,020 participants (a 68.3% response rate); of those, 2,141 patients were interviewed. The 4-week total prevalence for any mental disorder was 31.8% (95% CI, 29.8% to 33.8%); this included any anxiety disorder (11.5%; 95% CI, 10.2% to 12.9%), any adjustment disorder (11.1%; 95% CI, 9.7% to 12.4%), any mood disorder (6.5%; 95% CI, 5.5% to 7.5%), any somatoform/conversion disorder (5.3%; 95% CI, 4.3% to 6.2%), nicotine dependence (4.5%; 95% CI, 3.6% to 5.4%), alcohol abuse/dependence (0.3%; 95% CI, 0.1% to 0.6%), any mental disorder resulting from general medical condition (2.3%; 95% CI, 1.7% to 2.9%), and any eating disorder (0%). The highest prevalence for any mental disorder was found in patients with breast cancer (41.6%; 95% CI, 36.8% to 46.4%), followed by patients with head and neck cancer (40.8%; 95% CI, 28.5% to 53.0%). The lowest prevalence was found in patients with pancreatic cancer (20.3%; 95% CI, 8.9% to 31.6%) and stomach/esophagus cancers (21.2%; 95% CI, 12.8% to 29.6%). Conclusion Our findings provide evidence for the strong need for psycho-oncological interventions. (C) 2014 by American Society of Clinical Oncology
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May 19, 2014