Anxiety and anxiety disorders in the old and very old--results from the Berlin Aging Study (BASE).
ABSTRACT Within the context of the Berlin Aging Study, we examined the distribution of anxiety symptoms and disorders in a representative community sample. The participants were beyond the age of 70 years, thereby extending results from other studies not covering this age range. Additionally, we analyzed the distribution of anxiety symptoms and syndromes not fulfilling specified diagnostic criteria. A sample of 258 old (70 to 84 years) and 258 very old (85 to 103 years) subjects were examined. Anxiety disorders as defined in DSM-III-R and according to clinical judgment (diagnoses termed NOS) were assessed. In addition, items from the Geriatric Mental State-A (GMS-A) covering a wide range of symptoms of anxiety were subjected to factor analysis. The raw score distributions of anxiety subscales obtained by this procedure are examined by age, gender, education, personal living situation, and psychiatric comorbidity. The weighted overall prevalence of anxiety in the elderly community is 4.5% (n = 17), including specified (n = 8) anxiety disorders according to the DSM-III-R and unspecified (n = 9) disorders. Prevalence rates in the younger old were 4.3% and in the older old 2.3%. Weighted prevalence rates for males were 2.9% and for females 4.7%. The most common comorbid disorders were affective disorders in both age groups as well as both genders. Independently of the nosological level, 52.3% reported one or more symptoms of anxiety. Factor analysis of anxiety-related symptoms yielded 5 independent subscales, reflecting hypochondriasis, panic, phobia, worries, and vegetative anxiety. There were more phobic symptoms in the younger age group (P < .001). Except for worries and hypochondriac symptoms, females showed significantly higher anxiety in all other anxiety dimensions. There was no relation between anxiety and cognitive status or socioeconomic status (SES). Only for subjects living alone was more phobic-type anxiety found. Anxiety disorders in old and very old persons are less frequent than other psychiatric disorders of old age, and do not increase with age. Gender differences can still be observed. The symptomatic structure of anxiety seems similar to that found in younger cohorts. Thus, anxiety disorders in old age do not seem substantially different from those in younger age. Their relative contribution to the spectrum of mental disorders seems to decrease, rather than increase, with age, while at the same time anxiety symptoms are an almost daily experience.
- SourceAvailable from: Nancy A Pachana[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background Research on the behavioural correlates of anxiety in older adults is sparse. The aim of this study was to explore the association of anxiety with behavioral patterns defined by health, activity, emotional and social variables. Methods A convenience sample of 395 older adults completed measures of health, activity, emotions, social variables and experiential avoidance. Cross-sectional data were analysed using cluster analysis. Results Five clusters were identified: active healthy, healthy, active vulnerable, lonely inactive and frail and isolated. Participants in the active healthy and healthy clusters showed the highest scores on health variables (vitality and physical function), and adaptive scores on the rest of variables. They also reported the lowest scores on anxiety and included the lowest number of cases with clinically significant anxiety levels. Active vulnerable showed high scores on social support, leisure activities and capitalization on them but low scores in vitality and physical functioning. Participants in the lonely inactive cluster reported the highest mean score in experiential avoidance and high scores on boredom and loneliness, and low scores on social support, leisure activities capitalizing on pleasant activities and health variables. Frail and isolated represent a particularly vulnerable profile of participants, similar to that of lonely inactive, but with significantly lower scores on health variables and higher scores on boredom and hours watching TV. Conclusions Anxiety in older adults is not only linked to poor health, but also to dysfunctional social behavior, loneliness, boredom and experiential avoidance. Maladaptive profiles of older adults with regard to these variables have been identified.International Psychogeriatrics 05/2014; DOI:10.1017/S1041610214001148 · 1.89 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Women have consistently higher prevalence rates of anxiety disorders, but less is known about how gender affects age of onset, chronicity, comorbidity, and burden of illness. Gender differences in DSM-IV anxiety disorders were examined in a large sample of adults (N=20,013) in the United States using data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Studies (CPES). The lifetime and 12-month male:female prevalence ratios of any anxiety disorder were 1:1.7 and 1:1.79, respectively. Women had higher rates of lifetime diagnosis for each of the anxiety disorders examined, except for social anxiety disorder which showed no gender difference in prevalence. No gender differences were observed in the age of onset and chronicity of the illness. However, women with a lifetime diagnosis of an anxiety disorder were more likely than men to also be diagnosed with another anxiety disorder, bulimia nervosa, and major depressive disorder. Furthermore, anxiety disorders were associated with a greater illness burden in women than in men, particularly among European American women and to some extend also among Hispanic women. These results suggest that anxiety disorders are not only more prevalent but also more disabling in women than in men.Journal of Psychiatric Research 03/2011; 45(8):1027-35. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.03.006 · 4.09 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Much about the long-term course of anxiety disorders is unknown. The present study utilizes a naturalistic, longitudinal, short-interval follow-up design to elucidate the course of anxiety disorders over 14 years in a largely middle-aged adult sample recruited from out-patient psychiatry and primary care facilities. The sample consisted of 453 participants with a diagnosis of panic disorder (PD), social phobia (SP) and/or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Anxiety symptom ratings were tracked using weekly psychiatric status ratings (PSRs). Controlling for demographic and clinical variables, the course of PD, GAD and SP were examined using longitudinal growth models, with the most severe PSR at each follow-up point as the main outcome variable. PSRs significantly decreased in severity over time in each of the three disorders. In the interaction effects models, age x time had a significant effect on course for PD and GAD, but not for SP, in that older age was associated with lower PSRs over time. The present findings suggest that the severity of anxiety disorders declines over time, although this decline is modest and depends on the specific disorder being assessed. Older individuals with PD and GAD have a better prognosis than their younger counterparts, as their course is characterized by a steeper decline in severity. The present findings provide important information about the course of anxiety disorders in mid-life.Psychological Medicine 08/2008; 39(4):615-24. DOI:10.1017/S0033291708003954 · 5.43 Impact Factor