SEOUL, June 5 (Korea Bizwire) – The number of patients diagnose with panic disorder is steadily increasing in South Korea, government data showed Saturday, with experts citing growing social and psychological stress as possible causes.
The Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service said that a total of 127,053 people received hospital treatment for panic disorder in 2016, up from 98,000 in 2014 and 83,000 in 2012.
Doctors define panic disorder as an anxiety disorder with recurrent, unexpected and unexplained panic attacks — sudden periods of intense fear or a feeling that something bad may occur.
The state-run agency said women accounted for 53.2 percent of last year’s panic disorder patients.
Patients in their 40s accounted for the biggest portion at 25.4 percent, followed by 50-somethings at 21.7 percent and 30-somethings at 18.4 percent, it noted.
Doctors and experts say panic attacks usually last 20 to 30 minutes and their cause has yet to be clearly known, though many point to social and psychological stress among the potential factors.
They ask people to avoid stress and rest sufficiently to prevent panic disorder.