Introduction Anxiety is currently one of the most prevalent mental health problems. Depression and binge eating are both associated with it. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of anxiety and associated factors in Brazilian adults.
Methods and Materials A population-based cross-sectional study in Pelotas, southern Brazil. The sample was selected using a multiple stage protocol and included adults aged 20–69 years.
Results We interviewed 972 individuals, 57.0% were female. The prevalence of anxiety was 57.6%. Women (p=0.001) and individuals aged 20–29 years (p=0.003) were more likely than their counterparts to have anxiety. No associations were found according to marital status, socioeconomic status, physical activity and body mass index. The prevalence of anxiety in current smokers was 67.5% whereas the prevalence among non-smokers was 53.6% (p<0.001). Individuals with self-rated fair or poor health were more likely to have anxiety (p<0.001) as compared to those with better self-rated health.
Conclusions Knowing the population groups at higher risk for anxiety is important for the promotion of positive mental health actions. The association we found between anxiety and smoking is consistent with the recent literature.