Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Mental Health

Anxiety Disorders

Key Messages
Hospital Admission Trends Over Time
Hospital Admissions by Age and Sex
Hospital Admissions and Marginalization
Emergency Department Visit Trends Over Time
Emergency Department Visits by Age and Sex
Emergency Department Visits and Marginalization
Reasons for Admission or Visit
Technical Notes

Key Messages

  • There was a significant increase in the rate of anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions among Simcoe Muskoka residents starting in 2019, which coincided with increases in access to children and youth mental health hospital beds in the region.  
  • The rates of anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions and emergency department visits were significantly higher in Simcoe Muskoka than in Ontario.
  • The highest rates of hospital admissions and emergency department visits were observed in females, and in those who lived in areas with higher levels of deprivation.
  • Children and youth younger than 20 years had the highest age-specific rate of hospital admissions, while adults 20 to 44 years had the highest age-specific rate of emergency department visits.

Hospital Admission Trends Over Time

  • The age-standardized rate of anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions nearly doubled to  39 (34.1, 44.8) admissions per 100,000 persons in 2019 from 23 (19.6. 27.8) admissions per 100,000 in 2018 in Simcoe Muskoka. The rate in 2020 declined slightly to 33 (28.4, 38.1) admissions per 100,000, which was still significantly higher than the rate in 2018. Prior to 2019, the rates had not changed significantly for the previous eight years.
  • The increase starting in 2019 can be attributed, at least in part, to expanded services for a Regional Child & Youth Mental Health Program that increased access to youth mental health hospital beds in the Simcoe Muskoka area.
  • The Simcoe Muskoka age-standardized rates of anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions have been significantly higher than the comparable provincial rates since 2011.
  • In 2020, there were nearly 200 anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions among Simcoe Muskoka residents, with more than one third of these admissions among children and youth 19 years old or younger.
  • The annual age-standardized rate of anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions among all Ontario residents has remained between 17 and 20 admissions per 100,000 persons since 2014.

MHAnxiety_Hosp_AgeStd2011to2015_20180326

Hospital Admissions by Age and Sex

  • For 2016 to 2020, combined, the age-standardized rate of anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions in Simcoe Muskoka among females was 38 (34.8, 41.5) per 100,000 persons.
  • This was significantly higher than the rate among males with 21 (18.3, 23.2) per 100,000 persons.
  • Children and youth, aged <1 to 19 years, had the highest age-specific rate of anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions, with 52 (47.1, 58.7) per 100,000 persons.
  • The pattern of age and sex-specific rates across Ontario were similar to the rates in Simcoe Muskoka.

MIAnxiety_Hosp_AgeStdbySex

MHAnxiety_Hosp_AgeSpec_20180326

Hospital Admissions by Marginalization

  • Hospital admissions for anxiety disorders were highest among people living in areas with the highest level of material deprivation.
  • From 2016 to 2020, there were 53 (45.5, 61.8) anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions per 100,000 people who live in areas with the highest levels of material deprivation.

MIAnxiety_Hosp_AgeStdbyQuint

Emergency Department Visits Trends Over Time

  • The number of anxiety disorder-related emergency department visits in Simcoe Muskoka residents increased from around 2,000 in 2011 to over 2,500 in 2019. In 2020, anxiety disorder-related emergency department visits dropped to just under 2,300. It is unclear if this decrease was due to changes in health care use and access during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The age-standardized rate for anxiety disorder-related emergency department visits was 399 (392.2, 415.4) visits per 100,000 persons in 2020, which was approximately 10% lower than the 2019 rate. From 2015 to 2018, the Simcoe Muskoka rates were relatively stable remaining between 340 and 350 visits per 100,000 persons.   
  • The Simcoe Muskoka rates have been significantly higher than the provincial rates since 2011.

MHAnxiety_ED_AgeStd2011to2015_20180326

Emergency Department Visits by Age and Sex

  • From 2016 to 2020 (combined), there was a significantly higher rate of emergency department visits related to anxiety disorders among females, with an age-standardized rate of 518 (506.3, 530.8) visits per 100,000 females compared to 367 (356.9, 377.1) visits per 100,000 among males in Simcoe Muskoka.
  • Adults aged 20-44 had significantly higher rates of emergency department visits related to anxiety disorder, with an age-specific rate of 720 (702.9, 738.3) visits per 100,000 persons in Simcoe Muskoka.

MIAnxiety_ED_AgeStdbySex

MHAnxiety_ED_AgeSpec_20180326

Emergency Department Visits and Marginalization

  • There were more than double the rate of anxiety disorder-related emergency department visits among those living in the most deprived areas with 767 visits per 100,000 population (737.7, 797.4) in Simcoe Muskoka compared to those living in the least deprived areas with 303 visits per 100,000 population (283.0, 323.6).

MIAnxiety_ED_AgeStdbyQuint

Reasons for Admission or Visit

  • The most common diagnoses among anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions and emergency department visits were for generalized and unspecified anxiety disorders.

Technical Notes

Anxiety disorders involve biological, psychological and social influences, and can be challenging to diagnose. Symptoms of anxiety disorders such as panic attacks may be the result of other medical conditions (e.g. asthma), or may be the cause of other medical conditions (e.g. hypertension). Anxiety disorders are characterised by persistent anxiety symptoms, obsessions, compulsions, or phobias or fears.

The specific diagnostic codes used to identify anxiety disorder-related hospital admissions and emergency department visits are presented on the OMHRS data source page.

Further Reading

For more information on anxiety and anxiety disorders, see:

Page Last Modified: August 31, 2022.