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Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2003 Sep;26(3):621-72, vi-vii.

Anxiety disorders in women.

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Clinical Trials Division, Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine, L4-100, PO Box 100256, Gainesville, FL 32611-0256, USA.


Women have higher overall prevalence rates for anxiety disorders than men. Women are also much more likely than men to meet lifetime criteria for each of the specific anxiety disorders: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), simple phobia, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. Considerable evidence suggests that anxiety disorders remain underrecognized and undertreated despite their association with increased morbidity and severe functional impairment. Increasing evidence suggests that the onset, presentation, clinical course, and treatment response of anxiety disorders in women are often distinct from that associated with men. In addition, female reproductive hormone cycle events appear to have a significant influence on anxiety disorder onset, course, and risk of comorbid conditions throughout a woman's life. Further investigations concerning the unique features present in women with anxiety disorders are needed and may represent the best strategy to increase identification and optimize treatment interventions for women afflicted with these long-neglected psychiatric disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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