Medical conditions and depressive, anxiety, and somatic symptoms in older adults with and without generalized anxiety disorder

Julie Loebach Wetherell*, Catherine R. Ayers, Roberto Nuevo, Murray B. Stein, Joe Ramsdell, Thomas L. Patterson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study was to examine medical illness and anxiety, depressive, and somatic symptoms in older medical patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Method: A case-control study was designed and conducted in the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Geriatrics Clinics. A total of fifty-four older medical patients with GAD and 54 matched controls participated. Measurements: The measurements used for this study include: Brief Symptom Inventory-18, Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, and the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule. Results: Older medical patients with GAD reported higher levels of somatic symptoms, anxiety, and depression than other older adults, as well as higher rates of diabetes and gastrointestinal conditions. In a multivariate model that included somatic symptoms, medical conditions, and depressive and anxiety symptoms, anxiety symptoms were the only significant predictors of GAD. Conclusion: These results suggest first, that older medical patients with GAD do not primarily express distress as somatic symptoms; second, that anxiety symptoms in geriatric patients should not be discounted as a byproduct of medical illness or depression; and third, that older adults with diabetes and gastrointestinal conditions may benefit from screening for anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Article number924376300
Pages (from-to)764-768
Number of pages5
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • elderly
  • somatization
  • depression
  • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
  • ELDERLY-PATIENTS
  • RISK-FACTORS
  • HEALTH
  • EPIDEMIOLOGY
  • DISABILITY
  • DISEASE

Cite this

Wetherell, J. L., Ayers, C. R., Nuevo, R., Stein, M. B., Ramsdell, J., & Patterson, T. L. (2010). Medical conditions and depressive, anxiety, and somatic symptoms in older adults with and without generalized anxiety disorder. Aging and Mental Health, 14(6), 764-768. [924376300]. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607861003713240