Researchers from NIHR SPHR’s Ageing Well programme have found that women are twice as likely as men to experience anxiety.
In an attempt to synthesise the various studies looking at the number of people affected by anxiety disorders and the groups that are at highest risk, NIHR SPHR funded researchers at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Public Health carried out a global review across 48 studies.
The review found that more than 60 million people were affected by anxiety disorders every year in the EU and that women are almost twice as likely as men to be affected. People under 35 years of age – both male and female – were also found to be disproportionately affected. Between 1990 and 2010, the overall proportion of people affected remained largely unchanged, with around four out of every 100 experiencing anxiety.
“Anxiety disorders can make life extremely difficult for some people and it is important for our health services to understand how common they are and which groups of people are at greatest risk,” noted first author Olivia Remes. “By collecting all these data together, we see that these disorders are common across all groups, but women and young people are disproportionately affected.”
“Anxiety disorders affect a lot of people and can lead to impairment, disability, and risk of suicide,” added Dr Louise Lafortune, scientific coordinator for the NIHR SPHR’s Ageing Well Programme. “Although many groups have examined this important topic, significant gaps in research remain.”
Professor Carol Brayne, Director of the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, concluded: “We hope that, by identifying these gaps, future research can be directed towards these groups and include greater understanding of how such evidence can help reduce individual and population burdens.”
TagsAgeingAnxietyPublic Mental Health