Panic map – UK’s panic attack hotspots revealed

Swansea is the UK’s panic attack hotspot – with almost 20,000 of the city’s residents suffering at least one panic attack every week – followed by Wolverhampton, Cardiff, Glasgow and Birmingham, according to a new study into panic disorders, involving 3,000 UK adults.

The research, conducted by a team headed by panic disorder specialist Dr. David Sinclair, founder of bcalm, also revealed:

  • The majority (52%)* of us will have at least one panic attack in our lifetime (that’s more than 46 million panic attacks happening in the UK every year, or 120,000 panic attacks per day).
  • 14% of us suffer at least one panic attack per month.
  • Women are significantly more likely than men to suffer a panic attack, 59% of women have had at least one panic, attack vs 44% of men.
  • 18-24 year olds are most likely to suffer regular panic attacks. 18% of 18-24 year-olds in the study said they have panic attacks at least once a month and 7% of those reported having weekly panics attacks.
  • 35% of panic attack sufferers say they’ve been triggered by crowded offices.
  • Is the air in your office causing your panic attacks? Strong link between carbon dioxide levels and panic attacks, busses, trains and lifts have elevated Co2
  • Poor airflow and ventilation cited as the biggest environmental trigger for panic attacks.
  • 46% of panic attack sufferers have had a panic attack on their way to work.

Perceptions of panic attack sufferers

A significant number of panic attack sufferers are self-conscious about their condition.

13% of sufferers reported that they felt other people didn’t believe them when they disclosed their condition and 15% said others have told them that they didn’t believe panic attacks were serious. 15% of study participants (including non-panic attack sufferers) say they’ve suspected someone of faking or exaggerating a panic episode.

Panic attacks and the workplace

46% of panic attack sufferers have had a panic attack on their way to work.

27% of panic attack sufferers get no support from their employer. 9% reported getting some support, but felt their employers could do more.

35% said they’d like their employer to provide a ‘safe space’ environment for respite from triggers, 26% would like their employer to improve airflow and ventilation in their workplace, 13% said adjusting the layout of their office could help their panic attacks and 11% said minimising loud noises would help.

Poor airflow and ventilation is the number one environmental trigger for panic attack sufferers. Almost a quarter (23%) of panic attack sufferers said lack of good airflow and ventilation could trigger a panic attack.


There are 104 panic attacks for every reported case of work related stress, anxiety and depression.**

In 2015, there were more panic attacks than votes cast in the General Election***

30 million votes cast*** vs 46 million panic attacks*

You’re twice as likely to share your commute with a panic attack sufferer than a smoker****

People who smoke 8.4 million****

People who suffer panic attacks 19.7 million*

Dr Stephen Cox, the inventor of bcalm, believes reducing environmental triggers could help people who suffer from panic attacks.

“Medical research had shown repeatedly that when people with panic disorder breathe air with elevated carbon dioxide, panic attacks result.

“Carbon dioxide is 100 to 500 percent higher in planes, tubes, lifts, in meetings and and in cars, so it stands to reason that commuting and being work can elevate the chances of a panic attack. Two separate, double blind medical studies in two different countries, done by two different investigators have demonstrated that carbon dioxide pollution filters do help reduce panic attacks.”

Panic attack hotspots:

City Percentage of residents suffering at least one panic attack per week
Swansea 8.16%
Wolverhampton 6.98%
Cardiff 6.67%
Glasgow 6.56%
Birmingham 5.85%
Brighton and Hove 5.80%
Newcastle 5.78%
Portsmouth 5.77%
Bristol 4.62%
Manchester 4.29%
Liverpool 4.04%
Oxford 3.96%
Belfast 3.39%
London 3.21%
Norwich 2.56%
Southampton 2.35%
Edinburgh 2.17%
Sheffield 1.86%
Leeds 1.83%
Aberdeen 1.75%
Leicester 1.54%

We surveyed 3,000 UK adults on behalf of bcalm between 03/02/2016 and 10/02/2016.

*52% of respondents said they’d suffered at least one panic attack. Comparison figures extrapolated based on UK adult population of 38 million (ONS figures).

**The total number of cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2014/15 was 440,000, a prevalence rate of 1380 per 100,000 workers. Source –

***61% of 46,420,413 electorate voted = 30,000,000

**** average smoking rate in Britain – 22% (based on Eng, Wal, Scot, N.I) – source

*****19.7 million = 52 of adult UK population