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Director’s Council of Public Representatives (COPR)

NIH Public Bulletin – January 2011

Learn About Anxiety Disorders on the Web

Format: Web Site
Institute: National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Library of Medicine (NLM)

NIMH estimates that anxiety disorders affect between 3 and 14 percent of older adults in a given year. Characterized by persistent, excessive, and disabling fear and worry, anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder can severely affect a person's life. However, these disorders are often overlooked in older adults. Conditions that commonly occur with age, such as depression, heart disease, and diabetes, may cause symptoms that mimic or mask anxiety symptoms, making diagnosis in older adults difficult.

You can learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of anxiety disorders and the ways they can affect older adults by reading the newest topic on NIHSeniorHealth, "Anxiety Disorders." NIHSeniorHealth is a senior-friendly Web site from NIA and NLM.

Next Steps

You can read "Anxiety Disorders" at For more health and wellness information for older adults from NIH, go to

This page last reviewed on September 6, 2012

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