Research Article| Volume 56, ISSUE 9, P914-916, September 2003

The prevalence of panic attacks in the United States: 1980 to 1995

  • Renee D. Goodwin
    Corresponding author. Tel.: 212-342-0422; fax: 212-781-6050.
    Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 43, New York, NY 10032, USA
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      The purpose of this study was to determine the difference in the prevalence of panic attacks among adults in the US population between 1980 and 1995.


      Data were drawn from the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program study (1980) and the Midlife Development in the United States Survey (1996), which are epidemiologic survey studies with samples representative of the US adult population. A chi-square test was used to determine the difference between the prevalence of panic attack in 1980 and 1995.


      There was a statistically significant increase in the prevalence of panic attacks among adults 25 to 74 years of age from 1980 to 1995 in the United States (12.7% versus 5.3%; χ2 = 135.2, df = 1, P<.0001).


      These data suggest that there may have been an increase in the prevalence of panic attacks among adults 25 to 74 years of age in the general US population over the past two decades.


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