The epidemiology of panic attacks and panic disorder results of three community surveys

Michael R. Von Korff, William W. Eaton, Penelope M. Keyl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors report findings pertaining to panic disorder from the first three sites of the National Institute of Mental Health Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program. Probability samples of about 3,000 persons aged 18 years or older were interviewed in the New Haven, Connecticut area, eastern Baltimore City, Maryland, and the greater St. Louis, Missouil area in 1980-1982. Information on panic attacks and panic disorder was obtained using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule. The prevalence rate of panic attacks in the prior six months was found to be about 3% at each of the sites while the prevalence of panic disorder varied from 0.6 to 1.0%. Age at onset was found to peak at 15-19 years. Simple panic attacks, severe and recurrent panic attacks, and panic disorder were found to be characterized by similar symptom profiles and age at onset distributions, and to have similar distributions by demographic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)970-981
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1985


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Diagnosis
  • Panic
  • Prevalence studies
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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