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Anxiety Disorders and Rheumatic Fever: Is There an Association?



Findings suggest that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders, referred to as obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders (OCSDs), are more common in patients with rheumatic fever (RF).


To determine whether RF or Sydenham's chorea increases the probability of anxiety disorders in the relatives of individuals with RF with and without SC.


This was a case-control family study in which 98 probands and 389 first-degree relatives (FDRs) were assessed using structured psychiatric interviews. A Poisson regression model was used to determine whether the presence of any disorder in one family member influences the rate of disorders in the remaining family members.


Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) occurred more frequently in the FDRs of RF probands than in those of control probands (P=.018). The presence of RF, GAD, or separation anxiety disorder in one family member significantly increased the chance of OCSDs in another member of the family.


Corresponding author

Please direct all correspondence to: Ana Gabriela Hounie, MD, PhD, Instituto de Psiquiatria da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, (CEAPESQ-PROTOC) Rua Dr. Ovídeo Pires de Campos, 785, Cerqueira César, CEP: 05403010, São Paulo, SP, Brasil; Tel: 55-11-30696972, Fax:, 55-11-30880842; E-mail:,


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Anxiety Disorders and Rheumatic Fever: Is There an Association?


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