Researchers from the University of Cambridge have shown that women face a higher rate of anxiety disorders than men - here's why.
Scientists at Cambridge University in the U.K. have carried out a study that suggests women are more prone to suffering from anxiety disorders than men. According to a report from the BBC, the research also showed that in addition to women, people under the age of 35 are much more likely to experience the symptoms of anxiety disorder.
But is this really the case? The study estimated that roughly four percent of people worldwide suffer from anxiety. Researchers reviewed 48 published studies to examine the breakdown of anxiety sufferers in the global population, but have stated that further studies are necessary to more accurately pinpoint the people facing the highest risk.
The study was published in the journal Brain and Behavior. It asserted that the number of people suffering from anxiety disorders in the EU alone has surpassed 60 million but claims that the highest rates of anxiety disorder occur in North America at eight percent. The study found that East Asian populations had the lowest rates of anxiety disorders, at three percent.
The researchers say that anxiety disorder, unlike depression, has not been extensively researched. According to the study’s author Olivia Remes, a researcher from the department of public health and primary care at the University of Cambridge, however, anxiety can put significant strain on a person’s daily life.
“There has been a lot of focus on depression – which is important,” she says. “But anxiety is equally important and debilitating; it can lead to the development of other diseases and psychiatric disorders, increase the risk for suicide and is associated with high costs to society. It is important for our health services to understand how common they are and which groups of people are at greatest risk.”
While the study found that women and young people face higher rates of anxiety disorders than other segments of the global population, the main takeaway from the study is that more research is needed to better understand these disorders and to provide appropriate care for people in need.
A press release from Cambridge University describing the details of the study can be found here.