Covid: Unsurprisingly, the covid-19 pandemic has brought changes that go beyond changes in our routine. The direct impacts of the disease on people’s emotional health is the highlight of a study published in The Lancet, a highly relevant scientific journal, which highlights the increase in cases of depression and anxiety.
According to the survey, published last Friday (8), significant numbers of these two diseases were recorded in 2020. There were about 76 million new cases of anxiety and 53 million records of depression worldwide. These numbers represent an increase of 26% and 28% respectively for the period analyzed.
The study also highlighted the correlation between covid-19 and the increased occurrence of these diseases. The countries that suffered the most from the pandemic were also those that had the highest participation in the indexes. The survey revealed that young people and women were the most affected.
How the study was carried out
To reach these conclusions, the researchers performed a systematic review of the entire literature to find population survey data that were published between January 2020 and January 2021. The objective was precisely to assess the global impacts of the pandemic on the increase in anxiety disorders and depression, separating the burden by sex, age and location. About 204 countries were identified in this study.
The survey used meta-analysis tools to create an estimate of how changes in routine had an impact on each population. The study took into account several specific indicators to understand the prevalence of these disorders in each group and the results, although shocking, are not all that surprising.
If the world had not faced the pandemic in 2020, it is estimated that about 193 million diagnoses of depression would have been registered (2,471 per 100,000 population) that year. However, the analysis revealed that this rate rose 28% above expectations, affecting approximately 246 million people across the globe (an increase of 53 million new cases).
A similar picture can be drawn for anxiety disorders. Estimates indicated 298 million cases, but the pandemic raised these rates by 26%, affecting 374 million people. Of the 76 million more cases, about 52 million happened in women.