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Of 33 "panic" attacks reported by patients wearing an ambulatory solid-state heart rate/activity monitor for 6 days, 19 (58%) occurred at heart rates disproportionate to activity levels and different enough from surrounding heart rates to indicate a distinct physiologic state. Intense panic attacks with three or more symptoms were the most readily identified. ECG monitoring found the elevated heart rates to be sinus tachycardias. Heart rate elevation did not occur during anticipatory anxiety episodes. Ambulatory heart rate recordings confirm the presence of major physiologic changes during self-reported panic attacks.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Psychiatry

Publication Date





478 - 482


Adolescent, Adult, Anxiety Disorders, Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Circadian Rhythm, Electrocardiography, Fear, Female, Heart, Heart Rate, Humans, Middle Aged, Monitoring, Physiologic, Panic, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales