Adults under 65 should undergo routine anxiety screenings, a panel advises.

For the first time, a group of medical professionals advises that all persons under the age of 65 undergo an anxiety screening. The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released new guidelines in response to the high levels of stress that were present in this community even before the COVID-19 epidemic. The USPSTF hopes that the new recommendations will assist clinicians in spotting mental health conditions earlier, preventing them from going unnoticed. Similar guidelines for kids and teenagers were given earlier this year.

Anxiety disorders frequently go undiagnosed and unrecognized in primary care. The task force cited a World Health Organization (WHO) study that found the median time for starting anxiety treatment is 23 years.

According to a study published in the Lancet last year, the pandemic resulted in an additional 53.2 million cases of major depressive disorder and 76.2 million cases of anxiety disorder worldwide.

The proposed recommendations are open for public comment until Oct. 17, after which they will be considered for final approval by the task force.

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