Outcome of late-life anxiety disorders during 32 weeks of citalopram treatment

Stephen Blank, Eric J. Lenze, Benoit H. Mulsant, Mary Amanda Dew, Jordan F. Karp, M. Katherine Shear, Patricia R. Houck, Mark D. Miller, Bruce G. Pollock, Barbara Tracey, Charles F. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Anxiety disorders are common in later life, but little is known about the long-term benefits and risks of pharmacotherapy. Method: 30 patients aged 60 years and older, with a DSM-IV anxiety disorder, entered a 32-week trial of citalopram. Data gathered at baseline and follow-up included anxiety symptoms using Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A) scores, quality of life using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form (SF-36), and sleep using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Data analysis consisted of mixed-effect repeated measures models of HAM-A scores and pre-post comparison of SF-36 and PSQI scores. Results: 30 persons entered treatment; most (27/30) had a primary DSM-IV diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (2 had panic disorder; 1 had posttraumatic stress disorder). Three subjects discontinued study medication due to side effects, 5 were terminated because of nonresponse, and 5 dropped out of the study for other reasons; thus, 17 subjects (57%) completed 32 weeks of treatment. Subjects' HAM-A scores improved significantly, with continuing improvements up until about 20 weeks of treatment. On the basis of a criterion of reduction in HAM-A to < 10 during the trial, 60% (18/30) of subjects were responders. Those who completed the 32-week trial had significant improvements in sleep and quality of life-including social functioning, vitality, mental health, and role difficulties due to emotional problems. Conclusions: In this 32-week study of citalopram for elderly persons with anxiety disorders, 60% responded. Those who received a full course of treatment experience significant improvements in quality of life and sleep quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-472
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Volume67
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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