Obsessive-compulsive symptoms in patients with panic disorder
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Comorbidity studies have shown an important association between panic disorder (PD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The aim of the current study was to evaluate the prevalence of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) and OCD in patients with PD. Forty-eight consecutive PD cases (DSM-IV diagnostic criteria) referred to a Brazilian university hospital clinic were studied. The Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive scale (Y-BOCS) checklist was used to identify the OCS. Subclinical OCD was considered when subjects met all but one DSM-IV criteria for OCD (symptoms did not cause significant distress and interference, did not last more than 1 hour per day, or were not considered excessive or irrational), and OCS when only the criterion for presence of obsessions or compulsions was met. Twenty-nine (60.4%) of the 48 patients evaluated (19 men and 29 women) had at least one OCS: nine (18.8%) had mild OCS, 11 (22.9%) had subclinical OCD, and nine (18.8%) had comorbid OCD. Therefore, 41.7% of the patients had either clinical or subclinical OCD. OCS occurred more frequently in women and, in 70.4% of the cases, preceded the onset of PD. Our results suggest that it is important to evaluate systematically the co-occurrence of OCS in patients with PD, due to the considerable overlap found in symptoms, which may have therapeutic implications. As panic symptoms are usually the main complaint, OCS are often found only when directly investigated. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.