Anxiety was found in 5-Minute Clinical Consult which helps you diagnose, treat, and follow up on over 900 medical conditions seen in everyday practice.

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5-Minute Clinical Consult

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  • Persistent, excessive, and difficult-to-control worry associated with significant symptoms of motor tension, autonomic hyperactivity, and/or disturbances of sleep or concentration
  • System(s) affected: Nervous (resulting in increased sympathetic tone and increased catecholamine release)


  • 12-month prevalence rate: 3.1%
  • Lifetime prevalence rate: 5.7%
  • Onset can occur any time in life, from adolescence to adulthood; median age of onset in the US is 31 years.
  • Predominant sex: Female > Male (2:1)
  • Anxiety accounts for 5–8% of primary care office visits.

Etiology and Pathophysiology

fMRI studies display decreased amygdala connectivity bilaterally.

Mediated by abnormalities of neurotransmitter systems (i.e., serotonin, norepinephrine, and γ-aminobutyric acid [GABA])

  • Strongly linked to depression in heritability studies
  • A variant of the serotonin transporter gene (5HT1A) may contribute to both conditions; other genes (such as that for glutamic acid decarboxylase) also may play a role.

Risk Factors

  • Caucasian race
  • Adverse life events: Stress, medical illness, disability, unemployment, childhood physical and mental abuse
  • Family history
  • Lack of social support
  • Depression
  • Lesbian/Bisexual women at increased risk

General Prevention

Regular exercise is associated with decreased anxiety and depression.

Commonly Associated Conditions

  • Major depressive disorder (>60%), dysthymia, bipolar disorder
  • Alcohol/Drug abuse (37.6%/27.6%)
  • Cigarette smoking in adolescence
  • Panic disorder, agoraphobia, simple phobia, social anxiety disorder, anorexia nervosa

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