Women over 60 worst hit by severe anxiety

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The severity of anxiety and stress among men and women is revealed today, with new figures showing that women at either end of the age spectrum are most likely to be hospitalised.

According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), women aged 60 and over are at greatest risk of being admitted to hospital with anxiety problems, while young women aged 15 to 19 are most vulnerable to being hospitalised with stress.

Based on HSCIC figures for December 2012 to November 2013, men are most likely to find themselves in a situation where they require a hospital admission through stress at ages 40 to 44 and with anxiety between 45 and 49.

The most common treatments are counselling, psychotherapy and medication but the most severe cases result in a hospital admission. Last year, almost nine out of ten anxiety cases and eight out of ten stress cases were emergency admissions.

The conditions can have profound impacts on health and well-being with one in five anxiety cases last year having been diagnosed with high blood pressure and a quarter of stress admissions having had a personal history of self-harm.

Alan Perkins, chief executive officer of the HSCIC, said: “Today’s report shows striking age patterns in admissions for anxiety, and some interesting age and gender patterns for stress cases.

“Hospitals have dealt with fewer admissions for anxiety and stress compared to last year but the higher rates of anxiety in the older generation could be an area for concern.”

Overall, total admissions fell by more than two per cent for anxiety and almost 14 per cent for stress.