1 in 3 Cases of Anxiety Admitted to Hospital Is a Woman over 60

Daily Mail (London), February 20, 2014 | Go to article overview

1 in 3 Cases of Anxiety Admitted to Hospital Is a Woman over 60


Byline: Sophie Borland Health Reporter

A THIRD of all hospital admissions for anxiety are women over 60, NHS figures show.

Experts say many are unable to cope with the 'emotional burden' of caring for elderly parents, grandchildren or partners with an illness.

Others may be affected by health issues such as breast cancer, osteoporosis and insomnia - or are simply struggling to come to terms with retirement.

Last year a total of 8,720 patients were treated in hospital for anxiety, of whom 2,440 were women over 60.

The highest proportion were those aged 65 to 69, with 437 admissions, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

In contrast, just 243 men in the same age group had hospital treatment, and 328 women from the lower age group of 55 to 59.

Overall, women were far more likely than men to be admitted for the condition, comprising 60 per cent of all cases.

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, said: 'Many women tend to take the caring role and it is not surprising that when they reach their 60s the emotional burden of care can become intolerable.

'The majority of the carers who contact us are women, who may be responsible for partners facing illness, elderly parents, or children.

'Women who find themselves bearing these responsibilities tend to neglect their own physical and mental health until they reach crisis point.' Psychologists pointed out that once women reach their late 60s they are also at higher risk of health problems such as breast cancer, osteoporosis, insomnia and dementia.

Many older women also struggle to come to terms with retirement and miss colleagues, the structure of the working day and earning a salary.

Dr Jennifer Wild, consultant psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London said: 'It might be changes in physical health and changes in socio-economic status. …

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