European archives of psychiatry and neurological sciences

, Volume 235, Issue 3, pp 179–186

The zurich study

VI. A continuum from depression to anxiety disorders?
  • J. Angst
  • A. Dobler-Mikola

DOI: 10.1007/BF00380990

Cite this article as:
Angst, J. & Dobler-Mikola, A. Eur Arch Psychiatr Neurol Sci (1985) 235: 179. doi:10.1007/BF00380990


A representative sample of 456 persons from the normal population aged 22 and 23 years was used to study the overlap of depression with anxiety disorders. The 1-year prevalence rate for major depression (DSM-III), minor depression, and anxiety disorder together was 16.4%. The observed cases of major depression cooccurred in 36% with anxiety disorder, the cases with minor depression in 60%. On the level of symptoms assessed by a semistructured clinical interview and on the level of self-assessed items of the symptom check list SCL-90, the overlap was even greater. The main finding was that subjects with both diagnoses, depression and anxiety disorder, were more severely affected in general. Discriminant analyses of the SCL-90 scales together with the qualitative distribution of SCL items characterizing depression, anxiety, or phobia, did not disprove the hypothesis of a continuum.

Key words

Minor depressionMajor depressionAnxiety disorderOverlap

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Angst
    • 1
  • A. Dobler-Mikola
    • 1
  1. 1.Research DepartmentPsychiatric University Hospital, ZurichZurichZwitzerland