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This study looked at the prevalence of panic attacks and panic disorder in a British population. Three thousand people (aged 18-65) registered with a Leicester general practice were sent a postal questionnaire which screened for panic attacks. Where appropriate this was followed by a diagnostic interview. Preliminary results are reported for the first 1500 subjects sampled. Panic attacks are a common experience in the study population (7.5% of responders experienced them around the time of the interview). Panic disorder was diagnosed in about 3% of responders.