Anxiety disorders (ADs), namely generalized AD, panic disorder and phobias, are common, etiologically complex conditions with a partially genetic basis. Despite differing on diagnostic definitions based on clinical presentation, ADs likely represent various expressions of an underlying common diathesis of abnormal regulation of basic threat-response systems. We conducted genome-wide association analyses in nine samples of European ancestry from seven large, independent studies. To identify genetic variants contributing to genetic susceptibility shared across interview-generated DSM-based ADs, we applied two phenotypic approaches: (1) comparisons between categorical AD cases and supernormal controls, and (2) quantitative phenotypic factor scores (FS) derived from a multivariate analysis combining information across the clinical phenotypes. We used logistic and linear regression, respectively, to analyze the association between these phenotypes and genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms. Meta-analysis for each phenotype combined results across the nine samples for over 18 000 unrelated individuals. Each meta-analysis identified a different genome-wide significant region, with the following markers showing the strongest association: for case-control contrasts, rs1709393 located in an uncharacterized non-coding RNA locus on chromosomal band 3q12.3 (P = 1.65 x 10(-8)); for FS, rs1067327 within CAMKMT encoding the calmodulin-lysine N-methyltransferase on chromosomal band 2p21 (P = 2.86 x 10(-9)). Independent replication and further exploration of these findings are needed to more fully understand the role of these variants in risk and expression of ADs.