Women are more susceptible to anxiety than men, according to a new study. Researchers at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge have concluded that women face a double risk of developing anxiety. The same study showed that people in North America and Western Europe are most vulnerable to anxiety than those living in other parts of the world.
The investigation followed approximately 1,200 studies about the disease but focused on 48. The key finding was that women are more susceptible to anxiety than men, with twice the odds of developing anxiety disorders.
Data from 1990 to 2010 revealed that the number of people suffering from anxiety remained approximately the same – about four people out of 100. This means that 4 percent of individuals worldwide are dealing with anxiety. Women are especially prone to the disease, summing up a 9 percent of the case studies’ participants.
An alarming 10 percent of both men and women under the age of 35 have been found to suffer from an anxiety disorder.
It is yet unclear why women are more prone to anxiety than men. One theory suggests that the chemical compound in the brain and the differences in the brain’s and immune system’s biology might be the cause. Hormones might also play a role. Women are also more prone to other mental health issues, such as depression.
It’s also not known why young people are most vulnerable to develop anxiety. Researchers say that it is possible that older people just know how to hide the disease better.
Another finding revealed that people suffering from other health problems are also more likely to have an anxiety disorder. About 70 percent of the case participants have reported anxiety among other physical diseases. For example, approximately 10 percent of the heart problems people living in the Western countries also have anxiety disorders. People suffering from multiple sclerosis are the most affected by anxiety, with as much as 32 percent of them reporting an anxiety disorder.
Additionally, an anxiety disorder called obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is known to affect women during pregnancy or after giving birth. One in 100 women worldwide is suffering from OCD.
The findings were published in this month’s issue of the journal Brains and Behavior.
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