Generalized anxiety disorder epidemiology and demographics

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Charmaine Patel, M.D. [2] Irfan Dotani

Overview

Generalized anxiety disorder is relatively common and has a lifetime prevalence of 900 per 100,000 (0.9%) in adolescents and 2,900 per 100,000 (2.9%) in adults.[1] It is more common in women, and can develop in any age although it more commonly occurs in the third and fourth decade of life.

Epidemiology and Demographics

Prevalence

  • The 12-months prevalence in overall population is:
    • 900 per 100,000 (0.9%) in adolescents
    • 2,900 per 100,000 (2.9%) in adults[1]
  • The World Health Organization's Global Burden of Disease project did not include generalized anxiety disorders.[2] In lieu of global statistics, here are some prevalence rates from around the world:
    • Australia: 3 percent of adults[2]
    • Canada: Between 3-5 percent of adults[3]
    • Italy: 2.9 percent[4]
    • Taiwan: 0.4 percent[4]
    • United States: approx. 3.1 percent of people age 18 and over in a given year (6.8 million)

Age

  • The disorder most commonly has its onset in the third decade of life, and mostly occurs in persons under the age of 30 years old. Generalized anxiety disorder can be seen at any age.

Gender

  • Generalized anxiety disorder is more commonly seen in females. This may partly be due to the increased tendency of women to report symptoms.

Race

  • Generalized anxiety disorder is more common in African Americans.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders : DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association. 2013. ISBN 0890425558.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Relating the burden of anxiety and depression to effectiveness of treatment", World Health Organization.
  3. http://www.canmat.org/resources/depression/gad.html
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://www.emedicine.com/med/byname/anxiety-disorders.htm

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