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The High Prevalence of Anxiety Disorders After Stroke.

Journal article
Authors Toby B Cumming
Christian Blomstrand
Ingmar Skoog
Thomas Lindén
Published in The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume 24
Issue 2
Pages 154-60
ISSN 1545-7214
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 154-60
Language en
Keywords Adult, Aged, Anxiety, epidemiology, Case-Control Studies, Comorbidity, Depressive Disorder, epidemiology, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Female, Humans, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Multivariate Analysis, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, epidemiology, Phobic Disorders, epidemiology, Prevalence, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Severity of Illness Index, Stroke, psychology, Sweden
Subject categories Neurology, Psychiatry


Previous studies indicate that post-stroke anxiety is common and persistent. We aimed to determine whether point prevalence of anxiety after stroke is higher than in the population at large, and whether the profile of anxiety symptoms is different.This case-control study was conducted in Göteborg, Sweden, with stroke patients recruited from the Sahlgrenska University Hospital and a comparison group selected from local population health studies. We included 149 stroke survivors (assessed at 20 months post-stroke) and 745 participants from the general population matched for age and sex. A comprehensive psychiatric interview was conducted, with anxiety and depressive disorders diagnosed according to DSM-III-R criteria.Those in the stroke group were significantly more likely than those in the comparison group to have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) (27% versus 8%), phobic disorder (24% versus 8%) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (9% versus 2%). Multivariate regression indicated that being in the stroke group, female sex, and having depression were all significant independent associates of having an anxiety disorder. In terms of symptom profile, stroke survivors with GAD were significantly more likely to report vegetative disturbance than those in the comparison group with GAD but less likely to have observable muscle tension or reduced sleep.Point prevalence of anxiety disorders is markedly higher after stroke than in the general population, and this cannot be attributed to higher rates of comorbid depression.

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