To examine the 1-month prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental, Fifth Edition (DSM-V), and International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), and the overlap between these criteria, in a population sample of 75-year-olds. We also aimed to examine comorbidity between GAD and other psychiatric diagnoses, such as depression.
During 2005-2006, a comprehensive semistructured psychiatric interview was conducted by trained nurses in a representative population sample of 75-year-olds without dementia in Gothenburg, Sweden (N = 777; 299 men and 478 women). All psychiatric diagnoses were made according to DSM-IV. GAD was also diagnosed according to ICD-10 and DSM-V.
The 1-month prevalence of GAD was 4.1% (N = 32) according to DSM-IV, 4.5% (N = 35) according to DSM-V, and 3.7% (N = 29) according to ICD-10. Only 46.9% of those with DSM-IV GAD fulfilled ICD-10 criteria, and only 51.7% and 44.8% of those with ICD-10 GAD fulfilled DSM-IV/V criteria. Instead, 84.4% and 74.3% of those with DSM-IV/V GAD and 89.7% of those with ICD-10 GAD had depression. Also other psychiatric diagnoses were common in those with ICD-10 and DSM-IV GAD. Only a small minority with GAD, irrespective of criteria, had no other comorbid psychiatric disorder. ICD-10 GAD was related to an increased mortality rate.
While GAD was common in 75-year-olds, DSM-IV/V and ICD-10 captured different individuals. Current definitions of GAD may comprise two different expressions of the disease. There was greater congruence between GAD in either classification system and depression than between DSM-IV/V GAD and ICD-10 GAD, emphasizing the close link between these entities.