Alexithymia and suicidality in panic disorder

Iulian Iancu*, Pinhas N. Dannon, Amir Poreh, Elie Lepkifker, Leon Grunhaus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To evaluate the prevalence of suicidal behavior in patients with panic disorder (PD) and to study the role of alexithymia (AL), an affect component, as a predictor of suicidal behavior in PD, we compared 42 patients with PD with or without agoraphobia with 24 healthy controls with regards to depression, AL and suicide risk. Only 5% of the PD patients reported previous suicide attempts. A higher frequency of positive AL (score > 73) was found among the PD patients (39% v 4% among the controls). PD patients had a higher suicide risk and AL as compared to controls, but only the increased suicide risk reached statistical significance. AL subjects had higher suicide risk scores as compared to non-AL subjects. Significant correlations were found between the AL score and suicide risk, although the most significant correlation was, as expected, between the depression level and the suicide risk. A low rate of previous suicide attempts was found in the PD group, perhaps reflecting the low comorbidity in our sample. We suggest that AL may have a role in the causation of suicidal behavior in PD patients, although further studies should re-examine this issue with larger samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-481
Number of pages5
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


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