Study: Women from financially disadvantaged regions are more likely to develop anxiety disorders

Does the living environment affect the development of fears
When people suffer from anxiety, it often leads to health problems. Researchers have now found that women from highly disadvantaged regions are much more affected by anxiety compared to wealthy women. However, this effect cannot be observed in men.

The researchers at the internationally recognized University of Cambridge found that financially and socially disadvantaged women were 60 percent more likely to suffer from severe anxiety compared to women from wealthy areas. Men are not affected by this effect, and it does not seem to make much difference to them whether they come from disadvantaged areas or not. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "BMJ".

Researchers study over 18,000 subjects
For their study, the experts examined over 18,000 British participants. They looked for signs of a so-called anxiety disorder. This causes excessive uncontrollable worries and fears in a variety of circumstances. Such fears affect work, finance, relationships and health, for example, the doctors explain. It is extremely difficult for those affected to control their fears.

Effects of fears
People with anxiety disorders often think that something negative will happen in their future. Such ideas do not necessarily correspond to reality. Those affected often also suffer from symptoms such as restlessness, insomnia and irritability, the scientists add. As a result, these people often have problems concentrating at school or at work. In addition, the muscles of those affected are often tense. This leads to headache, back pain and joint pain. Some people with anxiety disorders also have trouble falling asleep. As a result, those affected are very tired the next day and the concentration is impaired, the authors explain.

Living environment has a significant impact on human health
So far, several studies have examined the personal factors that increase the risk of developing anxiety. However, there is a lack of studies that examine the effects of certain places or areas on mental health. However, the living environment has a significant impact on human health. Studies have already shown that living in areas characterized by high income inequality can lead to an increased risk of serious medical events and even premature death, the scientists say.

Why are women more afraid?
Our living environment can affect our fears. But why is women's mental health more affected than men's health? The researchers believe that a number of reasons can help. Women generally tend to spend more time in their living environment, the scientists say. This is due, for example, to part-time work, childcare and carrying out domestic work. When women spend more time at home and live in a poorer area, they are sometimes exposed to increased stress and strain. The experts explain that these influences can cause anxiety in affected women.

Effects of fear
Both sexes appear to be affected differently by different aspects of their environment. For example, the fear of attacks and general security in the neighborhood is a particular concern for women, say the scientists. For example, if women think their neighborhood is unsafe, they will take fewer walks and engage less in physical activity. However, engaging in physical activities leads to enormous benefits for mental health.

Women urgently need social contacts
Integration in social networks is particularly important for the mental health of women. When women live in a disadvantaged area and feel their community is insecure, they have less contact with their neighbors. Those affected therefore have difficulties in building relationships. The authors of the study explain that this can have a negative impact on mental health.

How do women and men deal with stress?
Women and men deal differently with the effects of stress. When women are exposed to stress, they are more likely to internalize the effects. As a result, they also develop more psychological problems - compared to men, say the doctors. Men, however, tend to express their displeasure with stress and develop problems such as alcohol abuse.

More research needed
More research is needed, but the results found on the effects of certain residential areas are still extremely interesting, the researchers explain. No particular aspect of so-called deprivation is harmful to the mental health of women, but it is the overall effect of life in deprivation that increases the risk of fear in women, the doctors add.

Women are often exposed to increased stress
Women are increasingly taking on multiple roles in modern society. Many of those affected have full-time positions and also look after children and older relatives. This leads to increased stress and increased stress, the authors explain. All of these factors would be exacerbated if women were in deprivation.

Many women in the world live in disadvantaged areas
So it is not really surprising that life in poor regions is linked to a generalized anxiety disorder in women. Policy makers and planners should take this into account. The number of women living in disadvantaged areas is very high worldwide. And fears are one of the most common health problems these days, the scientists say. (as)

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Video: Neuroscience of Anxiety (December 2021).