Covid-19: Threefold increase in depression symptoms among adults

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 04, 2020 Published on September 04, 2020

The levels of depression have spiked to 27.8% among adults in the United States

According to a study published in the journal JAMA Network Open, the coronavirus pandemic has led to a threefold increase in depression symptoms among adults.

The researchers found that the levels of depression have spiked to 27.8 per cent among adults in the United States as of mid-April, compared to 8.5 per cent before the pandemic.

The findings further noted that income and savings are the most significant reason for the surge in the depression levels amid Covid-19.

The study’s senior author Sandro Galea, from Boston University, said in a statement: “We were surprised to see these results at first, but other studies since conducted suggest similar-scale mental health consequences.”


For the study, the research team analysed data collected from 5,065 respondents to the 2017-2018 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The team also gathered data of 1,441 respondents from the Covid-19 Life Stressors Impact on Mental Health and Well-Being (CLIMB) study.

The researchers found an increase in depression symptoms among all demographic groups. Experiencing more Covid-related stressors was a key reason for the depression symptoms.

However, the biggest demographic difference was due to stress-related to finances amid the pandemic.

The study found that during Covid, someone with less than $5,000 in savings, was 50 per cent more likely to have depression symptoms than someone with more than $5,000.

“Persons who were already at risk before Covid-19, with fewer social and economic resources, were more likely to report probable depression, suggesting that inequity may increase during this time and that health gaps may widen,” said the study’s lead author, Catherine Ettman.

“There may be steps that policymakers can take now to help reduce the impact of Covid-19 stressors on depression, such as eviction moratoria, providing universal health insurance that is not tied to employment, and helping people return to work safely for those able to do so,” the team noted.

Another research published in the journal Sustainability revealed that the novel coronavirus has adversely disrupted people’s daily lives and mental health, increasing their stress, fear of getting sick and financial strain.

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Published on September 04, 2020
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