Background: While chronobiological studies have reported seasonal variation in panic attacks (PA) episodes, information on the timing of PA by week-days may enable better understanding of the triggers of PA episodes and thereby provide pointers for suitable interventional approaches to minimize PA attacks. This study investigated weekly variation in potential PA admissions including associations with holidays using a population-based longitudinal, administrative claims-based dataset in an Asian population.
Methods: This study used ambulatory care data from the ‘‘Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000. We identified 993 patients with panic disorder (PD), and they had 4228 emergency room (ER) admissions for potential PA in a 3-year period between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2011. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to examine associations between the potential PA admissions and holidays/weekend days/work-days of the week.
Results: The daily mean number of potential PA admissions was 3.96 (standard deviation 2.05). One-way ANOVA showed significant differences in potential PA admissions by holiday and day of the week (p,0.001). Daily frequencies showed a trough on Wednesday-Thursday, followed by a sharp increase on Saturday and a peak on Sunday. Potential PA admissions were higher than the daily mean for the sample patients by 29.4% and 22.1%, respectively on Sundays and holidays. Furthermore, the weekly variations were similar for females and males, although females always had higher potential PA admissions on both weekdays and holidays than the males.
Conclusions: We found that potential PA admissions among persons with PD varied systematically by day of the week, with a significant peak on weekends and holidays.
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Published in PLoS One, 2014.
©2014 Kao et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Kao, L.-T., Xirasagar, S., Chung, K.-H., Lin, H.-C., Liu, S.-P., & Chung, S.-D. (2014). Weekly and Holiday-Related Patterns of Panic Attacks in Panic Disorder: A Population-Based Study. PLoS ONE, 9(7), e100913.