Women Are Almost Twice As Likely As Men To Have Anxiety

Photographed by Eva K. Salvi.
There's no doubt that anxiety disorders — from panic attacks to social phobias — can be crippling. And according to a massive new study, it turns out that women are more likely than men to suffer from them.

For the study, published recently in the journal Brain and Behavior, researchers reviewed 48 other reviews looking at the prevalence of anxiety disorders around the world. Overall, analyses showed that about four in 100 people worldwide have anxiety. And it was most common among women (including pregnant women), people under 35, those living in North America, and those with chronic illnesses. Specifically, anxiety disorders occurred about twice as often in women (affecting up to 8.9%) as they did in men.

"By collecting all [the] data together, we see that these disorders are common across all groups," lead author Olivia Remes, PhD, said in a press release. "But women and young people are disproportionately affected."

Unsurprisingly, we also see that gender difference in other conditions commonly associated with anxiety. Irritable bowel syndrome, for example, is closely linked to anxiety and occurs about three times more often in women than men. Similarly, women are 70% more likely to be diagnosed with depression, which often occurs alongside anxiety. So, while these results aren't exactly surprising, they are a good reminder that these disorders are unfortunately common — so no, you're not alone.