Association between cathecol-O-methyltyranferase and phobic anxiety

Monica McGrath, Ichiro Kawachi, Alberto Ascherio, Graham A. Colditz, David J. Hunter, Immaculata De Vivo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors assessed the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism and scores on the phobic anxiety scale of the Crown-Crisp Experimental Index. Method: A total of 1,234 women completed the Crown-Crisp Experimental Index phobic anxiety scale and were genotyped for the COMT polymorphism. The authors used unconditional logistic regression to compute odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to evaluate the association between the COMT genotype and phobic anxiety. Results: The mean scores for the three genotypes were statistically significantly different. Compared to the COMT Met/Met genotype, the age-adjusted odds ratio for scoring ≥6 compared to scoring 0 or 1 were 1.15 (95% CI=0.71-1.85) and 1.99 (95% CI=1.17-3.40) for the COMT Val/Met and COMT Val/Val genotypes, respectively; a significant gene dosage effect was observed. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the functional COMT polymorphism is associated with the development of phobic anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1703-1705
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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