Anxiety Disorders: Epidemiology

Epidemiology generally addresses the incidence and prevalence of a disorder. Incidence is the rate of new cases of a disorder within a period of time. Most commonly, it is reported per month or per year, and it is typically broken into different subsets of the population (e.g., by gender, racial origin, age). Prevalence is the actual number of cases of a disorder during a period of time (i.e., period prevalence) or at a particular point in time (i.e., point prevalence). In general, epidemiologists favor period prevalence (particularly 12-month prevalence) as a measure of “disease load” because it includes all new cases and all deaths between two dates. This entry focuses on what is currently known about the incidence and prevalence of the anxiety disorders ...

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