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Prevalence of anxiety and its correlates among older adults in Latin America, India and China: cross-cultural study

  • A. Matthew Prina (a1), Cleusa P. Ferri (a2), Mariella Guerra (a3), Carol Brayne (a1) and Martin Prince (a4)...

Abstract

Background

Anxiety is a common mental disorder among older people who live in the Western world, yet little is known about its prevalence in low- and middle-income countries.

Aims

We investigated the prevalence of anxiety and its correlates among older adults in low- and middle-income countries with diverse cultures.

Method

Cross-sectional surveys of all residents aged 65 or over (n = 15 021) in 11 catchment sites in 7 countries (China, India, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and Peru) were carried out as part of the 10/66 collaboration. Anxiety was measured by using the Geriatric Mental State Examination (GMS) and the Automated Geriatric Examination for Computer Assisted Taxonomy (AGECAT) diagnostic algorithm.

Results

The age- and gender-standardised prevalence of anxiety varied greatly across sites, ranging from 0.1% (95% CI 0.0–0.3) in rural China to 9.6% (95% CI 6.2–13.1) in urban Peru. Urban centres had higher estimates of anxiety than their rural counterparts with adjusted (age, gender and site) odds ratios of 2.9 (95% CI 1.7–5.3). Age, gender, socioeconomic status and comorbid physical illnesses were all associated with a GMS/AGECAT diagnosis of anxiety, and so was disability (World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II).

Conclusions

Anxiety is common in Latin America. Estimates from this region are similar to the ones from high-income European countries found in the literature. As demographic change will occur more rapidly in these countries, further research exploring the mental health of older people in developing areas is vital, with the inclusion of other specific anxiety disorders, along with evidence for strategies for supporting those with these disorders.

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Copyright

Royal College of Psychiatrists, This paper accords with the Wellcome Trust Open Access policy and is governed by the licence available athttp://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/Wellcome%20Trust%20licence.pdf

Corresponding author

A. Matthew Prina, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0SR, UK. Email: amp68@medschl.cam.ac.uk

Footnotes

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The 10/66 Dementia Research Group's research has been funded by the Wellcome Trust Health Consequences of Population Change Programme (GR066133 – Prevalence phase in Cuba and Brazil; GR08002 – Incidence phase in Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and China), the World Health Organization (India, Dominican Republic and China), the US Alzheimer's Association (IIRG–04–1286 – Peru, Mexico and Argentina), and FONACIT/CDCH/UCV (Venezuela). The Rockefeller Foundation supported a dissemination meeting at their Bellagio Centre. Alzheimer's Disease International has provided support for networking and infrastructure.

Declaration of interest

The 10/66 Dementia Research Group works closely with Alzheimer's Disease International, the non-profit federation of 77 Alzheimer associations around the world. Alzheimer's Disease International is supported in part by grants from GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Lundbeck, Pfizer and Eisai.

Footnotes

References

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Prevalence of anxiety and its correlates among older adults in Latin America, India and China: cross-cultural study

  • A. Matthew Prina (a1), Cleusa P. Ferri (a2), Mariella Guerra (a3), Carol Brayne (a1) and Martin Prince (a4)...
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