Anxiety sensitivity and trait anxiety are associated with response to 7.5% carbon dioxide challenge

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The 7.5% carbon dioxide (CO2) inhalation model is used to provoke acute anxiety, for example to investigate the effects of anxiety on cognitive processes, or the efficacy of novel anxiolytic agents. However, little is known about the relationship of baseline anxiety sensitivity or trait anxiety (i.e., anxiety proneness), with an individual's response to the 7.5% CO2 challenge. We examined data from a number of 7.5% CO2 challenge studies to determine whether anxiety proneness was related to subjective or physiological response. Our findings indicate anxiety proneness is associated with greater subjective and physiological responses. However, anxiety-prone individuals also have a greater subjective response to the placebo (medical air) condition. This suggests that anxiety-prone individuals not only respond more strongly to the 7.5% CO2 challenge, but also to medical air. Implications for the design and conduct of 7.5% CO2 challenge studies are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-187
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
Issue number2
Early online date11 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

Structured keywords

  • CRICBristol
  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Tobacco and Alcohol


  • Anxiety sensitivy
  • trait anxiety
  • 7.5% carbon dioxide
  • placebo


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