Skip Navigation

HHS HealthBeat (September 22, 2011)

Predicting panic attacks

Man is stressed
Listen to TipAudio

Take the Next Step

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

Your body may give you hints that you’re going to have a panic attack, a short period of intense fear and discomfort. Forty-three panic attack sufferers carried portable recorders that measured respiration, heart rate and other bodily functions, over 2,000 hours.

Alice Meuret is at Southern Methodist University.

“Most of the physiological changes took place long before the patients reported that what they felt was a panic attack.” (10 seconds)

To combat attacks, she suggests:

“Changing respiration when noticing symptoms could be effective in avoiding a full blown panic attack. One should try to breathe as little air as possible, to reverse  hyperventilation.” (14 seconds)

Learn more at


HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: September 22, 2011