Anxiety as a marker of severity in acute mania

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 05/25/2012

An association of anxiety symptoms with greater severity in acute mania was demonstrated. The close relationship between anxiety and manic symptoms highlights the need for greater clinical attention to anxiety in this population.


  • Observational, cross-sectional multicentre study.
  • Anxiety was measured using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS).
  • Bivariate and multiple linear regression analyses were performed using the HARS score as the dependent variable.


  • Two hundred and forty-two patients admitted with a diagnosis of acute manic episode according to DSM-IV TR criteria and a Young Mania Rating Scale >20 were analysed.
  • Mean age was 43 years (SD = 11.9) and 57% were women.
  • Forty-six per cent of patients (n = 104) presented moderate to severe anxiety symptoms (HARS score >14).
  • Anxiety was significantly associated with severity of manic symptoms (P < 0.0001).
  • Patients with anxiety had 20% longer hospitalizations (mean 21 days, CI95% 19.7-23.7).

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