Anxiety disorders and physical comorbidity: increased prevalence but reduced relevance of specific risk factors for hospital-based mortality during a 12.5-year observation period in general hospital admissions.
Anxiety disorders (AD) are associated with an increase in physical comorbidities, but the effects of these diseases on hospital-based mortality are unclear. Consequently, we investigated whether the burden of physical comorbidity and its relevance on hospital-based mortality differed between individuals with and without AD during a 12.5-year observation period in general hospital admissions. During 1 January 2000 and 30 June 2012, 11,481 AD individuals were admitted to seven General Manchester Hospitals. All comorbidities with a prevalence >1 % were compared with those of 114,810 randomly selected and group-matched hospital controls of the same age and gender, regardless of priority of diagnoses or specialized treatments. Comorbidities that increased the risk of hospital-based mortality (but not mortality outside of the hospital) were identified using multivariate logistic regression analyses. AD individuals compared to controls had a substantial excess comorbidity, but a reduced hospital-based mortality rate. Twenty-two physical comorbidities were increased in AD individuals compared with controls, which included cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors. The most frequent physical comorbidities in AD individuals were hypertension, asthma, cataract, and ischaemic heart disease. Risk factors for hospital-based mortality in AD individuals were lung cancer, alcoholic liver disease, respiratory failure, heart failure, pneumonia, bronchitis, non-specific dementia, breast cancer, COPD, gallbladder calculus, atrial fibrillation, and angina. The impact of atrial fibrillation, angina, and gallbladder calculus on hospital-based mortality was higher in AD individuals than in controls. In contrast, other mortality risk factors had an equal or lower impact on hospital-based mortality in sample comparisons. Therefore AD individuals have a higher burden of physical comorbidity that is associated with a reduced risk of general hospital-based mortality. Atrial fibrillation, angina, and gallbladder calculus are major risk factors for general hospital-based mortality in AD individuals