Anxiety Data

Looking at a possible relationship between pharmaceutical spending and prevalence of anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorder rates have been increasing among Americans of many age ranges for the past twenty years1, while an increased amount of money is continuing to be spent on the same treatments as in the past.2


    Pearson's product-moment correlation

data:  combined_data$pc_anxiety and combined_data$PC_GDP
t = -3.1694, df = 166, p-value = 0.001819
alternative hypothesis: true correlation is not equal to 0
95 percent confidence interval:
 -0.37665693 -0.09074187
sample estimates:

At p = 0.05, this test is statistically significant, meaning that anxiety prevalence is negatively correlated with percent of GDP across the 28 countries with available data. While this association certainly does not imply any causation, it is clear that increased spending on available pharmaceuticals does not correlate with better solutions to anxiety.

  1. Hui Zheng, Paola Echave, Are Recent Cohorts Getting Worse? Trends in U.S. Adult Physiological Status, Mental Health, and Health Behaviors across a Century of Birth Cohorts, American Journal of Epidemiology, 2021;, kwab076,↩︎

  2. Source: Health expenditure and financing: Health expenditure indicators↩︎

  3. Source: Health expenditure and financing: Health expenditure indicators↩︎