Anxiety and joint hypermobility association: a systematic review

BACKGROUND: Anxiety disorders are often associated with several non-psychiatric medical conditions. Among the clinical conditions found in association with anxiety stands out the joint hypermobility (JH). OBJECTIVES: To carry out a systematic review of the clinical association between anxiety disorders and JH. METHOD: A survey was conducted in MEDLINE, PsychINFO, LILACS e SciELO databases up to December 2011. We searched for articles using the keywords 'anxiety', 'joint' and 'hypermobility' and Boolean operators. The review included articles describing empirical studies on the association between JH and anxiety. The reference lists of selected articles were systematically hand-searched for other publications relevant to the review. RESULTS: Seventeen articles were included in the analysis and classified to better extract data. We found heterogeneity between the studies relate to the methodology used. Most of the studies found an association between anxiety features and JH. Panic disorder/agoraphobia was the anxiety disorder associated with JH in several studies. Etiological explanation of the relationship between anxiety and JH is still controversial. CONCLUSION: Future research in large samples from the community and clinical setting and longitudinal studies of the association between anxiety and HA and the underlying biological mechanisms involved in this association are welcome.

anxiety; hypermobility; panic disorder; anxiety disorders; methodology; joint hypermobility syndrome

Associação Brasileira de Psiquiatria Rua Pedro de Toledo, 967 - casa 1, 04039-032 São Paulo SP Brazil, Tel.: +55 11 5081-6799, Fax: +55 11 3384-6799, Fax: +55 11 5579-6210 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil