The aim of the study was to test whether an association exists between asthenic somatotype, as measured by the Quetelet index, and panic and or agoraphobia. Ninety-nine cases with panic and/or agoraphobia diagnosed at the psychiatric outpatient clinic of a general teaching hospital were compared to 99 controls with psychiatric conditions other than panic and agoraphobia, and to 64 medical controls, matched by age and gender. No differences in weight, height and raw Quetelet and ponderal indexes were found between panic cases and controls. However, 33.3% of cases, but only 19.2% of psychiatric controls and 18.7% of medical controls, were in the asthenic group as defined by the lower quartile of the Quetelet index (age and sex adjusted odds ratio = 2.33, 95% C.I.: 1.21-4.11). In the entire sample, the asthenic somatotype was associated with lower age and with the presence of hypermobility of joints. Since both panic disorder and mitral valve prolapse may be associated with the joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS), an inherited disorder of collagen synthesis, it is suggested that the relationship found between panic and asthenic somatotype might be mediated through JHS. © 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1996|
- Joint hypermobility syndrome
- Mitral valve prolapse
- Panic disorder