J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2015 Oct;19(2):101-107. 10.0000/jkgp.2015.19.2.101.

Comparison of Clinical Characteristics between Early-Onset and Late-Onset Panic Disorder : A Preliminary Study

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University, Seongnam, Korea. drshlee27@gmail.com
  • 2Department of Psychology, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.


The objective of this study is to clarify the clinical characteristics of late-onset panic disorder (PD) compared to early-onset PD in symptoms frequency, severity, and quality of life.
516 patients with PD were included in this study. Patients with PD onset at 60 or after were grouped (late-onset), and compared with the group with onset at 20 or earlier (early-onset). The following instruments were applied : Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Panic Disorder Severity Scale, Albany Panic and Phobia Questionnaire, Anxiety Sensitivity Inventory-Revised, and Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey. SPSS version 21.0 was used for statistical analysis.
Late-onset PD was 4.84% of all PD patients, and the mean age was 64.68+/-4.36 years. Late-onset PD exhibited fewer panic symptoms and scored lower on most scales assessing clinical severity. However, the panic-related symptoms severity showed significant negative correlations with scores of quality of life, especially in physical functioning subscale, among the late-onset PD patients.
These findings suggest that less severe panic symptoms may contribute to underdiagnosing PD in this elderly population. However, the panic-related symptoms severity plays an important role in quality of life among the late-onset PD patients. It suggests to implement specific strategies considering the age at onset in clinical approach among patients with PD.


Panic disorder; Early-onset; Late-onset; Symptom severity; Quality of life
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