Comorbidity of the anxiety disorders in a community-based older population in the Netherlands

A. J.L.M. Van Balkom, A. T.F. Beekman, E. De Beurs, D. J.H. Deeg, R. Van Dyck, W. Van Tilburg

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Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate patterns of comorbidity among the anxiety disorders in a community-based older population, and the relationship of these disorders with major depression, use of alcohol and benzodiazepines, cognitive impairment and chronic somatic illnesses. Method: The data were derived from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) study. A two-stage screening design was adopted to identify respondents with anxiety disorders. Results: In total, 10% of the elderly with an anxiety diagnosis suffered from two or more anxiety disorders. Major depression (13% vs. 3%), benzodiazepine use (24% vs. 11%) and chronic somatic diseases (12% vs. 7%) were significantly more prevalent in respondents with an anxiety disorder than in respondents without anxiety disorders. Heavy or excessive alcohol intake (5% vs. 4%) and cognitive impairment (11% vs. 13%) were not significantly associated with any anxiety disorder. Conclusion: When anxiety disorders are diagnosed, in older people there is a relatively high probability of comorbid conditions being present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalActa psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Anxiety disorder
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cognition disorders
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression
  • Elderly
  • Seventy of Illness Index

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