Alcohol use disorders in relatives of patients with panic disorder

Renee D. Goodwin, Joshua D. Lipsitz, Tim F. Chapman, Salvatore Mannuzza, Donald F. Klein, Abby J. Fyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to use data from a family study of anxiety disorders to examine the familial association between alcohol use disorders and panic disorder (PD), controlling for alcohol use disorders in the proband. Method: Data from a family study of anxiety disorders were used to compare rates of alcohol use disorders in the relatives of 3 proband groups (PD with lifetime alcohol use disorders, PD without lifetime alcohol use disorders, and not-ill controls). Results: There was a significantly higher rate (12%) of alcohol use disorders among the relatives of PD probands compared with relatives of controls (5%), even in the absence of alcohol use disorders in the proband and after adjusting for differences in sociodemographic characteristics and lifetime drug use disorders (χ2 = 5.4; df = 1; P = .02). Anxiety symptoms were more frequent among the male relatives of panic probands who received an alcohol diagnosis, compared with those who did not have alcohol use disorders (10/25 vs 22/111; χ2 = 4.6; df = 1; P = .03). A similar pattern was found in women (8/11 vs 63/156; χ2 = 4.4; df = 1; P = .036). Conclusions: These findings suggest a familial association between PD and alcohol use disorders. Future studies with more refined alcohol diagnoses are needed to replicate and investigate the mechanism of this association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-90
Number of pages3
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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