Anxiety is twice as likely in women versus men

Are you a woman under 35 living in North America? According to a new study out of the University of Cambridge, you might be a prime candidate for anxiety. 

“Anxiety disorders, which often manifest as excessive worry, fear and a tendency to avoid potentially stressful situations including social gatherings, are some of the most common mental health problems in the Western world,” the study explains. 

“The annual cost related to the disorders in the United States is estimated to be $42.3 million. In the European Union, over 60 million people are affected by anxiety disorders in a given year.”

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Because there have been so many studies on anxiety over the years, researchers at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Public Health attempted to synthesize the results to come up with some overall conclusions. After picking their way through more than 1,200 studies conducted between 1990 and 2010, they noticed that many of the findings were consistent from study to study. 

“Between 1990 and 2010, the overall proportion of people affected remained largely unchanged, with around four out of every 100 experiencing anxiety,” the study found. “The highest proportion of people with anxiety is in North America, where almost eight out of every 100 people are affected.”

“Women are almost twice as likely to be affected as men, and young individuals – both male and female – under 35 years of age are disproportionately affected.”

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The study also found that those with other health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and multiple sclerosis were also at higher risk for having an anxiety disorder. 

“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,” says Olivia Remes, first author on the study. 

“By collecting all these data together, we see that these disorders are common across all groups, but women and young people are disproportionately affected. Also, people who have a chronic health condition are at a particular risk, adding a double burden on their lives.”

Researchers hope that these findings will not only help doctors identify prime candidates for anxiety disorders, but also help promote treatments. 

What do you think of this study? Have you ever experienced anxiety? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting to @YahooStyleCA