Although anxiety disorders are the most prevalent group of disorders in the United States, little is known about the efficacy of treatments for these disorders in elderly patients. Anxiety disorders, especially generalized anxiety disorder and phobias, are highly prevalent in older people. Anxiety symptoms and disorders are associated with increased mortality and disability in older people. Risk factors for anxiety disorders include chronic medical illness, disability, low education, low social network, and poor social support. The newer antidepressant medications, in particular the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and venlafaxine-extended relief, are recommended as first-line pharmacotherapy of these disorders in elderly. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is recommended as first-line psychotherapy for these disorders. However, these recommendations are based on extrapolation of data from younger adults or retrospective analysis of datasets, the results need to be confirmed with controlled studies in an elderly age group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-810
Number of pages6
JournalCNS Spectrums
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002


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