J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2019 Nov;58(4):339-345. 10.4306/jknpa.2019.58.4.339.

The Bodily Panic Symptoms and Predisposing Stressors in Korean Patients with Panic Disorder

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry and Institute of Behavioral Science in Medicine, College of Medicine, Yonsei University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Inje University Haeundae Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, Uijeongbu St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Department of Psychiatry, CHA Bundang Medical Center, School of Medicine, CHA University of Korea, Seongnam, Korea.
  • 7Department of psychiatry, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
  • 8Department of Psychiatry, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, College of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 9Department of Psychiatry, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 10Department of Psychiatry, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 11Department of Psychiatry, Samsung Medical Center, College of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 12Department of Psychiatry, St. Vincent's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. healm@catholic.ac.kr


The purpose of this study was to investigate the distinctive features of bodily panic symptoms and the predisposing conditions in Korean patients with panic disorder.
This was a retrospective chart review study and the data were collected from twelve university-affiliated hospitals in Korea. The patients selected met the diagnostic criteria for panic disorder, were older than 20 years of age, and had initially visited a psychiatry department. The assessments included the chief complaints related to bodily panic symptoms, recent stressors, recent history of alcohol and sleep problems, and time to visit an outpatient clinic.
A total of 814 participants were included in the study. The most commonly experienced symptoms were cardiovascular and respiratory symptoms, which were observed in 63.9% and 55.4% of participants, respectively. Just before the onset of a panic attack, 25.6% of participants experienced sleep-related problems. Episodic binge drinking was also frequently observed (13.2%) and was more prevalent in men than in women (22.6% vs. 4.9%, p<0.001). About 75% of participants experienced stressful life events just before panic onset. Work-related issues were more prevalent in men than in women (22.0% vs. 13.4%, p=0.001). Family-related issues (4.8% vs. 14.1%, p<0.001) and conflict with a spouse or partner (4.0% vs.11.7%, p<0.001) were more prominent in women than in men.
Our results suggest that cardiovascular symptoms are the most common bodily panic symptoms in Korean patients. Our results suggest that a substantial portion of the Korean patients experienced stressful life events, sleep problems, and/or episodic binge drinking just before the onset of panic disorder.


Panic disorder; Korean patients; Bodily panic symptom; Stressful life event
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