Anxiety Disorders in Williams Syndrome Contrasted with Intellectual Disability and the General Population: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Individuals with specific genetic syndromes associated with intellectual disability (ID), such as Williams syndrome (WS), are at increased risk for developing anxiety disorders. A systematic literature review identified sixteen WS papers that could generate pooled prevalence estimates of anxiety disorders for WS. A meta-analysis compared these estimates with prevalence estimates for the heterogeneous ID population and the general population. Estimated rates of anxiety disorders in WS were high. WS individuals were four times more likely to experience anxiety than individuals with ID, and the risk was also heightened compared to the general population. The results provide further evidence of an unusual profile of high anxiety in WS.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3765–3777
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number12
Early online date30 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Williams syndrome, Anxiety disorders, Intellectual disability, Genetic syndromes, Meta-analysis, Systematic review