Panic disorder, trait anxiety, and alcohol use in pregnant and nonpregnant women

Sarah Meshberg-Cohen, Dace Svikis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The present study examined differences in rates of panic disorder and trait anxiety in pregnant and nonpregnant women receiving care at an urban obstetrics and gynecology clinic. The study further examined correlates and differences in alcohol use among these women. In addition, the study assessed whether panic disorder and trait anxiety influence alcohol use and whether pregnancy status moderates these associations. Methods: The sample consisted of 412 pregnant and 139 nonpregnant women receiving care at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health Systems' obstetrics and gynecology clinics for the first time. Participants completed a questionnaire packet, including instruments about emotional and psychologic functioning (eg, panic disorder, anxiety), health-related behaviors (eg, alcohol use), and demographic information. Results: Pregnant women were less likely than nonpregnant women to have panic disorder. There were no differences in trait anxiety levels between pregnant and nonpregnant women. After controlling for demographics, panic disorder and trait anxiety were significant predictors of greater alcohol use in pregnant and nonpregnant women. An interaction revealed that pregnant and nonpregnant women with low trait anxiety had similar levels of alcohol use; however, nonpregnant women with high trait anxiety consumed significantly more alcohol than pregnant women with high trait anxiety. Conclusions: Current study findings support the need to examine panic disorder and trait anxiety as potential risk factors for alcohol use among pregnant and nonpregnant women in the community. Findings have important implications for assessment and treatment of panic, anxiety, and alcohol use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-510
Number of pages7
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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