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J Anxiety Disord. 2012 Jan;26(1):12-9. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2011.08.006. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Gender differences in social anxiety disorder: results from the national epidemiologic sample on alcohol and related conditions.

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Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 69, New York, NY 10032, USA.


This study examined gender differences among persons with lifetime social anxiety disorder (SAD). Data were derived from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (n=43,093), a survey of a representative community sample of the United States adult population. Diagnoses of psychiatric disorders were based on the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule-DSM-IV Version. The lifetime prevalence of SAD was 4.20% for men and 5.67% for women. Among respondents with lifetime SAD, women reported more lifetime social fears and internalizing disorders and were more likely to have received pharmacological treatment for SAD, whereas men were more likely to fear dating, have externalizing disorders, and use alcohol and illicit drugs to relieve symptoms of SAD. Recognizing these differences in clinical symptoms and treatment-seeking of men and women with SAD may be important for optimizing screening strategies and enhancing treatment efficacy for SAD.

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