Global, regional and national burden of anxiety disorders from 1990 to 2019: results from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

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Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2021 May 6;30:e36. doi: 10.1017/S2045796021000275.


AIMS: Anxiety disorders are widespread across the world. A systematic understanding of the disease burden, temporal trend and risk factors of anxiety disorders provides the essential foundation for targeted public policies on mental health at the national, regional, and global levels.

METHODS: The estimation of anxiety disorders in the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 using systematic review was conducted to describe incidence, prevalence and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in 204 countries and regions from 1990 to 2019. We calculated the estimated annual percentage change (EAPC) to quantify the temporal trends in anxiety disorders burden by sex, region and age over the past 30 years and analysed the impact of epidemiological and demographic changes on anxiety disorders.

RESULTS: Globally, 45.82 [95% uncertainty interval (UI): 37.14, 55.62] million incident cases of anxiety disorders, 301.39 million (95% UI: 252.63, 356.00) prevalent cases and 28.68 (95% UI: 19.86, 39.32) million DALYs were estimated in 2019. Although the overall age-standardised burden rate of anxiety disorders remained stable over the past three decades, the latest absolute number of anxiety disorders increased by 50% from 1990. We observed huge disparities in both age-standardised burden rate and changing trend of anxiety disorders in sex, country and age. In 2019, 7.07% of the global DALYs due to anxiety disorders were attributable to bullying victimisation, mainly among the population aged 5-39 years, and the proportion increased in almost all countries and territories compared with 1990.

CONCLUSION: Anxiety disorder is still the most common mental illness in the world and has a striking impact on the global burden of disease. Controlling potential risk factors, such as bullying, establishing effective mental health knowledge dissemination and diversifying intervention strategies adapted to specific characteristics will reduce the burden of anxiety disorders.

PMID:33955350 | DOI:10.1017/S2045796021000275