Coexisting anxiety disorders alter associations with physical disorders in the elderly: A Taiwan cross-sectional nationwide study

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We used population-based analyses to explore whether anxiety disorders are associated with certain physical illnesses, as previous studies have suggested, and whether a greater number of comorbid anxiety disorders would influence physical illnesses in the elderly.


Using the National Health Insurance Research Database, we included subjects aged over 60 years. The study included 954 subjects with anxiety disorders (as defined by the ICD-9-CM) and 4770 control subjects without anxiety disorders. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated for the risks of physical illnesses in both groups.


Subjects with anxiety disorders had higher OR for cardiovascular disease (OR = 1.33–2.80), cerebrovascular disease (OR = 2.07), peptic ulcer (OR = 3.41), and hyperlipidemia (OR = 2.99). Furthermore, a greater number of comorbid anxiety disorders may further increase the OR of the aforementioned physical illnesses, except for peripheral vascular disorder, when compared to those without anxiety disorders.


Elderly subjects with more anxiety disorders may be associated with vascular and metabolic problems. Clinicians should carefully assess the physical illnesses of elderly patients with anxiety disorders.

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