The epidemiology of anxiety disorders in the Arab world: a review

Epidemiological studies are quite rare in the Arab world. The Institute for Development Research Advocacy and Applied Care (IDRAAC) has conducted a systematic review of all epidemiologic research on anxiety disorders in the Arab world up to 2006. Specific keywords were used in the search for affective disorders, namely anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, GAD, panic, separation anxiety disorder, SAD, overanxious disorder, OAD, phobia, fear, post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), obsessive compulsive symptom (OCS), obsession, compulsion, obsessive, compulsive. All results were screened and categorized. Epidemiological data on prevalence, gender differences, age of onset, comorbidity, risk factors and treatment of anxiety disorders in the Arab world were found in clinical and community samples. There is an evident need for national data on anxiety disorders in the Arab world in order to identify the magnitude of these diseases and their burden on the individual and community.