Anxiety disorders and risk of self-reported ulcer: A 10-year longitudinal study among US adults

Farah Taha, Joshua D. Lipsitz, Sandro Galea, Ryan T. Demmer, Nicholas J. Talley, Renee D. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: Previous epidemiologic studies have documented a link between anxiety disorders and ulcer among adults. Few studies have examined these associations over time and little is understood about the pathways underlying these relationships. Method: Data were drawn from n= 2101 adult participants in the Midlife Development in the United States I and II. Data on ulcer diagnoses were collected through self-report: among participants in the current sample, 38 reported ulcer at Waves 1 and 2 (prevalent ulcer), and 18 reported ulcer at Wave 2 but not at Wave 1 (incident ulcer). Panic attacks and generalized anxiety disorder at Wave 1 (1994) were examined in relation to prevalent (past 12 months) and incident ulcer approximately 10 years later at Wave 2 (2005). Results: Anxiety disorders at Wave 1 were associated with increased prevalence of ulcer [odds ratio (OR)=4.1, 95% confidence interval (CI)=2.0-8.4], increased risk of incident ulcer at Wave 2 (OR=4.1, 95% CI=1.4-11.7) and increased risk of treated ulcer at Wave 2 (OR=4.7, 95% CI=2.3-9.9) compared with those without anxiety. Conclusions: In this large population sample of adults, anxiety disorders were associated with an increased risk of ulcer over a 10-year period. These relationships do not appear to be explained by confounding or mediation by a wide range of factors. Future studies should address potential mechanisms underlying the relationship between anxiety and ulcer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-679
Number of pages6
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Inc.


  • Anxiety disorder
  • Epidemiology
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic attack
  • Ulcer


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