Last updated: Jun 06, 2016

Do you suffer from an anxiety disorder? There's a good chance you're also a woman, according to research.

Anxiety disorderswhich include generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and specific phobias—are extremely common, affecting about 18% of the population of the United States, according to the National Institute of Mental Health

A new review published in the journal Brain & Behavior was designed to shed more light on these conditions. The researchers from Cambridge University set out to gain a clearer understanding of which population groups are most at-risk by analyzing the results of 48 prior studies. 

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Their results show that anxiety disorders are far more common among women, who were nearly twice as likely to be affected as men. Other at-risk groups include adults under age 35, and people with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, COPD, diabetes, and cancer. 

Location appears to matter, too. Worldwide, 4 out of every 100 people suffer from an anxiety disorder, but North America appears to have a higher than average rate (8 in 100), while East Asia had the lowest rate (3 in 100).

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The researchers hope their findings will help raise more awareness for anxiety disorders. "There has been a lot of focus on depression—which is important—but anxiety is equally important and debilitating," author Olivia Remes told BBC.com"It is important for our health services to understand how common [the disorders] are, and which groups of people are at greatest risk."

If you suspect you might be suffering from an anxiety disorder, it's worth talking to your primary care physician, or a mental health professional. "Many people get anxious when they have a test, or have to speak in front of people, or if they are in a new situation," says New York-based clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis, PhD, author of Your Next Big Thing: 10 Small Steps to Get Moving and Get Happy. "However, if anxiety persists beyond these events, it may be time to get help."