Fichter MM, Quadflieg N, Fischer UC, Kohlboeck G. Twenty-five-year course and outcome in anxiety and depression in the Upper Bavarian Longitudinal Community Study.
Objective: Assessment of 25-year course of pure and mixed anxiety and depression in a community sample.
Method: Participants were grouped into pure anxiety, pure depression, mixed anxiety and depression, and no anxiety or depressive syndrome at baseline. Assessments consisted of a: i) baseline survey, ii) 5-year follow-up, iii) 25-year follow-up. Self-rating scales as well as expert-rating interviews yielded data on social and psychopathological risk factors and outcome measures.
Results: Baseline prevalence for mixed anxiety and depressive syndrome was 8.7%. Subjects with combined anxiety and depressive syndrome were more predisposed towards later adverse mental health outcomes and reduced functionality. The transition from anxiety syndrome (pure and mixed) to depressive syndrome over the 25-year study is more likely than the reverse. Logistic regression analysis emphasized the impact of early anxiety syndromes on later depression.
Conclusion: Results underscore the long-term risks of suffering from a combined anxiety and depressive syndrome.