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Review: worldwide lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders is 16.6%, with considerable heterogeneity between studies

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Q What is the prevalence and incidence of anxiety disorders in a general population and what is the degree of heterogeneity between studies?


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Systematic review with meta-analyses.

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MEDLINE and HealthSTAR databases plus hand searches of reference lists; 1980 to 2004.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and analysis:

English-language articles examining prevalence and/or incidence of anxiety disorders in adult populations with samples sizes of 450 or more. Only studies using standardised diagnostic instruments or clinical diagnosis were selected. One-year prevalence, lifetime prevalence, and incidence data were extracted (overall, sex and age specific rates) from each study and pooled using Fastpro software …

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  • For correspondence: Dr Julian Somers, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 7238-515 Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V6B 5K3, Canada; jsomers{at}

  • Sources of funding: none.

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