Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the UK – affecting around 30% of people.
It starts on average at the age of 11, and according to the Mental Health Foundation, affects at least 3.3% of children and young people.
While there are a number of factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing anxiety, one long-standing debate is the genetic vs. environmental influence.
It is known that anxiety runs in families, so could it be possible that anxious parents genetically pass on their anxious tendencies to their children?
A recent study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry looked into this further.
Researchers compared levels of anxiety in families of identical twins with those of non-identical twins.
In total, 385 identical and 486 non-identical families took part in the survey (also known as the Swedish Twin and Offspring Study).
For a genetic link to be confirmed, there...