As stressors multiply, stress is being taken seriously as a medical issue.

Our weekly Data points into early 2013 will focus on research we conducted for our 10 Trends for 2013 report using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool. One of our trends, The Super Stress Era, outlines the idea that stress is mounting around the globe and that governments, employers and brands alike will need to ramp up efforts to help prevent and reduce it. At the same time that stressors are multiplying, stress is getting more widely recognized as a serious medical concern, with the World Health Organization calling it the worst health epidemic of the 21st century.

The vast majority of the 1,016 British and American adults we surveyed last month felt that stress is a serious health issue and that it should be taken more seriously as such. The issue is close to home for many: More than 6 in 10 know someone who’s developed a serious health issue due to stress, and more than 4 in 10 have experienced stress-related health problems themselves.

As stress rises, the ramifications for the physical and mental health of populations will be numerous—increasingly we’ll see stress as a global epidemic, much like obesity. Our 10 Trends for 2013 report is available for purchase here, or see the Executive Summary on Slideshare.