In a prospective, longitudinal, population-based study of 643 women participating in the Harvard Study of Moods and Cycles we examined whether psychosocial variables predicted a new or recurrent onset of an anxiety disorder. Presence of anxiety disorders was assessed every 6 months over 3 years via structured clinical interviews. Among individuals who had a new episode of anxiety, we confirmed previous findings that history of anxiety, increased anxiety sensitivity (the fear of anxiety related sensations), and increased neuroticism were significant predictors. We also found trend level support for assertiveness as a predictor of anxiety onset. However, of these variables, only history of anxiety and anxiety sensitivity provided unique prediction. We did not find evidence for negative life events as a predictor of onset of anxiety either alone or in interaction with other variables in a diathesis-stress model. These findings from a prospective longitudinal study are discussed in relation to the potential role of such predictors in primary or relapse prevention efforts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Dr. Otto has served, in the last two years, as a consultant for Organon (Schering-Plough) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals, has received royalties from Lilly for use of the SIGH-A, and receives research support from Schering-Plough. Dr. Soares has served support, in the last two years, as a consultant for Astrazeneca, Lundbeck, Eli Lilly and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals; has received honoraria as speaker for Wyeth, AstraZeneca (Canada) and Eli Lilly (Canada); has received research support from AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Wyeth, Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) and Hamilton Community Foundation. Dr. Cohen has served as a consultant for Eli Lilly & Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, JDS/Noven Pharmaceuticals, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals, Pamlab, L.L.C, Sepracor, Inc., and Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals and has received research support from National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, Stanley Medical Research Institute, van Ameringen Foundation, Inc., Astra-Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Berlex Laboratories, Eli Lilly & Company, Forest Laboratories, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Sepracor, Inc., Abbott Pharmaceuticals, Organon, Inc., Sanofi-Synthelabo, Inc., Pfizer, Inc., and Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Cohen has received honoraria as speaker for Astra-Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, Berlex Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly & Company, Forest Laboratories, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Inc., and Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Harlow, Alison Vitonis, Bridget Hearon, and Amanda Calkins have no conflicts to report.
- Anxiety sensitivity
- Longitudinal study