An association has been claimed between mitral valve prolapse and the neuroses, especially the anxiety states, panic disorders, and agoraphobia. In this study 103 patients with echocardiographically confirmed mitral valve prolapse were tested with the Eysenck Personality Inventory for neuroticism and with the General Health Questionnaire for the presence of neurotic symptoms. The scores for neuroticism and neurotic symptoms were not significantly different from those of patients with other cardiac diseases or from those of patients presenting in primary care. In addition 50 patients with agoraphobia were screened by echocardiography for mitral valve prolapse, but no cases were detected. It appears that some of the earlier evidence for an association between mitral valve prolapse and neurosis may have been based on groups which were incorrectly diagnosed. It is concluded that mitral valve prolapse and neurosis are independent conditions.
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