Risk Factors for Panic DisorderEn Español (Spanish Version)
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop panic disorder with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing panic disorder. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your healthcare provider what you can do to reduce your risk.
Panic disorder typically develops between the ages of 15 and 24, especially for men. However, it can also begin in the 30s and 40s, especially for women. The prevalence of panic disorder seems to be increasing in younger generations.
Panic disorder is twice as common in women as in men. Pregnancy can either improve the condition or make it worse. Panic disorder with agoraphobia is more common in women, too. Approximately 80% of severe agoraphobics are women.
There is some evidence that panic disorder and other anxiety disorders tend to run in families. Many studies have shown that panic disorder is common among first-degree relatives of people with panic disorder. Family dynamics, such as overprotective behaviors and failure to learn effective coping skills, may play a role in panic disorder.
Stressful Events in Susceptible People
The initial appearance of panic attacks often follows a highly stressful event, such as being the victim of a crime, or the loss of a job, loved one, or important relationship.
Abnormal Psychology and Modern Life . 11th ed. Allyn and Bacon; 2000.
National Institute of Metal Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/ .
Last reviewed February 2007 by Edward R. Rosick, DO, MPH, MS
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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