Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent among the elderly and are associated with increased disability, poor quality of life, and cognitive impairment. Despite this high prevalence and associated morbidities, anxiety disorders in late life are underreported and understudied. In this article, we discuss the epidemiology, disease presentation, and current treatment of anxiety disorders in older adults. We also discuss limitations in the current understanding of such disorders in this population, as well as future research directions that may reveal the mechanisms and rationale for treatment regimens for anxiety disorders in late life. We present material on the application of the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) model to geriatric anxiety. Finally, we describe optimal management strategies of anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-342
Number of pages14
JournalHarvard review of psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 19 2015


  • anxiety
  • geriatric
  • late life


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