It's been well documented that anxiety is on the rise, but new research by the University of Cambridge has given us an even clearer picture of who's affected by this common mental health condition. The team found that women are nearly twice as likely to experience anxiety as men, and that those under 35 are more likely to suffer than older people.
'It might be that younger people are more likely to be exposed to anxiety provoking situations – they are more likely to be in employment and they are more likely to be exposed because of that to a higher number of social interactions,' says Olivia Remes, who led the research. Her team also discovered that people with chronic diseases are, perhaps unsurprisingly, more likely to suffer anxiety than those in good health. Up to a third of people with MS had an anxiety disorder, while cancer patients also had a high chance of anxiety, with up to 79% of those in the later stages of the disease experiencing symptoms. The researchers are now hoping that be identifying those most at risk of anxiety, more support can be put into place.
'When we know who is most likely to have it, then we can better target our health service's resources, interventions, screening and prevention efforts' concludes Remes.