High anxiety is associated with an increased risk of death in an older tri-ethnic population

Glenn V. Ostir, James S. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: The health consequences of anxiety in late life have not been adequately investigated. We sought to examine the association between anxiety and death in an older tri-ethnic population. Methods: A longitudinal population-based study of 506 older noninstitutionalized non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, and Hispanics aged 75 years or older from Galveston County. Results: Average age was 80.8 (SD 4.4) and 50.8% were women. Older non-Hispanic Whites (21.6%) reported the highest prevalence of anxiety, followed by Hispanics (12.4%) and non-Hispanic blacks (11.3%) (P = .0001). High anxiety was significantly associated with an increased hazard of all cause death (HR 1.52; 95% CI 1.02, 2.28) and cardiovascular death (HR 1.90; 95% CI 1.06, 3.36); and was associated with an increased hazard of cancer death (HR 2.38; 95% CI 0.88, 6.45) during 5-years of follow-up. Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of anxiety in late life. Our results indicate an association between anxiety and increased risk of death in persons aged 75 and older.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-540
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2006



  • Aged
  • Anxiety
  • Death
  • Ethnic groups
  • Longitudinal studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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