Epidemiology of anxiety disorders: global burden and sociodemographic associations

Syed Fahad Javaid, Ibrahim Jawad Hashim, Muhammad Jawad Hashim, Emmanuel Stip, Mohammed Abdul Samad, Alia Al Ahbabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Anxiety disorders comprise some of the most common mental health conditions. This study examined the global and regional burden of anxiety disorders over the last three decades. The study was designed to help accurately target preventative and management efforts by highlighting trends and high-risk groups. Epidemiological data relating to anxiety disorders from the latest Global Burden of Disease dataset were analyzed to determine the prevalence, incidence, and disability adjusted life years (DALYs) rates from 1990 to 2019 for 204 countries and regions. Results: An estimated 4.05% of the global population has an anxiety disorder, translating to 301 million people. The number of persons affected has increased by more than 55% from 1990 to 2019. Anxiety disorder metrics show a continuous increase in prevalence, incidence, and DALY rates. Portugal has the highest prevalence (8,671 cases per 100,000), followed by Brazil, Iran, and New Zealand. The prevalence is higher in high-income regions. Women are 1.66 times more likely to be affected by anxiety disorders than men. Age-standardized rates have remained stable, indicating the possible stability of risk factors. Conclusions: The prevalence of anxiety disorders has been rising over the last three decades. The prevalence of anxiety appears to increase with socioeconomic development, a higher dependent older population, and urbanization. Future research on this topic could include the development of more accurate cross-cultural metrics to assess anxiety and its correlates, as well as population-based studies to assess trends in anxiety over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44
JournalMiddle East Current Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Epidemiology
  • Mental health
  • Morbidity
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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