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Aging Ment Health. 2006 May;10(3):298-302.

Age differences in the presentation of anxiety.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157, USA.


The research on anxiety and age has produced inconsistent findings. One reason for this may be that the manifestation of anxiety symptoms is age-related. The purpose of this study was to determine if there are age-related differences in the presentation of affective, cognitive, and somatic symptoms of anxiety. Primary care patients ranging in age from 19-87 years completed three self-report measures of anxiety. Results indicate that older adults report less worry than younger adults. There were no age differences in the report of somatic and affective symptoms. Thus, worry appears to play a less prominent role in the presentation of anxiety in older adults. These findings suggest that older adults do experience anxiety differently than younger adults.

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