PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to describe the prevalence of anxiety disorders in a general population and the association to socioeconomic position (SEP), which has not been described in a Danish context before.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We present data on anxiety symptoms from respondents in the rural-provincial Lolland-Falster population Health Study (LOFUS). Analyses of the questionnaire responses to the Anxiety Symptom Scale were done by descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses adjusted for sex and age.
RESULTS: 14,834 LOFUS respondents who completed the Anxiety Symptom Scale were included; According to the original algorithm 371 (2.5%) had an anxiety disorder. The adjusted odds ratios (aOR) for anxiety disorder were strongly associated to SEP. We found aOR for anxiety to be: 3.8 (confidence interval (CI 95%) 2.54 - 5.92) for respondents with no postsecondary education compared to those with 3+ years of postsecondary education; 11.9 (CI 8.89 - 16.01) for respondents temporarily out of a job compared to those working; 9.4 (CI 6.06 - 14.51) for those experiencing constant financial strain compared to those not experiencing financial strain. Relaxing the criteria for anxiety to item 10 > 1, the prevalence raised to 3.9%. The association was unchanged related to education; however, the aOR dropped to 9 and 8 respectively, for being temporally out of job, or in financial strain every month- when doing same comparisons.
CONCLUSIONS: The 14-day prevalence of anxiety disorder seems low but strongly associated to SEP especially for individuals temporarily out of a job or experiencing financial strain.