What characteristics of primary anxiety disorders predict subsequent major depressive disorder?

Antje Bittner, Renee D Goodwin, Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, Katja Beesdo, Michael Höfler, Roselind Lieb
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2004, 65 (5): 618-26, quiz 730

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to examine the associations between specific anxiety disorders and the risk of major depressive disorder and to explore the role of various clinical characteristics of anxiety disorders in these relationships using a prospective, longitudinal design.

METHOD: The data are from a 4-year prospective, longitudinal community study, which included both baseline and follow-up survey data on 2548 adolescents and young adults aged 14 to 24 years at baseline. DSM-IV diagnoses were made using the Munich-Composite International Diagnostic Interview.

RESULTS: The presence at baseline of any anxiety disorder (odds ratio [OR] = 2.2 [95% CI = 1.6 to 3.2]) and each of the anxiety disorders (specific phobia, OR = 1.9 [95% CI = 1.3 to 2.8]; social phobia, OR = 2.9 [95% CI = 1.7 to 4.8]; agoraphobia, OR = 3.1 [95% CI = 1.4 to 6.7]; panic disorder, OR = 3.4 [95% CI = 1.2 to 9.0]; generalized anxiety disorder, OR = 4.5 [95% CI = 1.9 to 10.3]) was associated with a significantly (p <.05) increased risk of first onset of major depressive disorder. These associations remained significant after we adjusted for mental disorders occurring prior to the onset of the anxiety disorder, with the exception of the panic disorder association. The following clinical characteristics of anxiety disorders were associated with a significantly (p <.05) increased risk of developing major depressive disorder: more than 1 anxiety disorder, severe impairment due to the anxiety disorder, and comorbid panic attacks. In the final model, which included all clinical characteristics, severe impairment remained the only clinical characteristic that was an independent predictor of the development of major depressive disorder (OR = 2.2 [95% CI = 1.0 to 4.4]).

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that anxiety disorders are risk factors for the first onset of major depressive disorder. Although a number of clinical characteristics of anxiety disorders appear to play a role in the association between anxiety disorders and depression, severe impairment is the strongest predictor of major depressive disorder.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"