Patients with non-fear panic disorder (NFPD) meet DSM-III-R criteria for panic disorder, but do not report subjective fear or anxiety. Although apparently common in medical settings, this controversial group is in need of further diagnostic validation. This study assessed family history of panic disorder in patients with chest pain and normal coronary arteries (CP/NCA) and either NFPD, panic disorder with fear, or no panic. It was hypothesized that the two panic disorder groups would have similar, elevated rates of panic disorder in their first-degree relatives, compared to patients without panic. The results support the hypothesis; about 17% of the first-degree relatives of both NFPD and panic disorder patients were diagnosable with panic disorder according to proband interviews, whereas only 4.6% of the first-degree relatives of patients without panic were so diagnosable. These results support the diagnostic validity of NFPD in CP/NCA patients, because such patients had a family history of panic disorder similar to patients with a more classical panic disorder presentation. The lack of fear symptoms and behavior in NFPD may cause panic disorder to be overlooked as a potential cause of somatic symptoms in patients with no medical explanation for their condition.