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Anxiety & Panic Disorders Health Center

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Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder - What Increases Your Risk

Your risk for panic attacks and panic disorder may be higher if you:

  • Have a family history of panic disorder. You are also at increased risk if you have a parent with either depression or bipolar disorder.
  • Have other conditions associated with panic disorder or panic attacks, such as depression.
  • Drink alcohol, use illegal drugs, chain-smoke cigarettes, or drink large amounts of coffee or other caffeinated beverages.
  • Take medicines known to trigger panic attacks, such as those used to treat asthma or heart problems.
  • Have mitral valve prolapse. This is a heart condition in which one of the valves in the heart doesn't close as it should.
  • Have had previous, unexpected panic attacks.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: May 17, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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