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Anxiety, Depression Remain High Following Initial Lockdown

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2021 -- Depression and anxiety rates remain elevated following the initial COVID-19 lockdown, according to a study published online Jan. 11 in the Journal of Public Health.

Jagdish Khubchandani, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, and colleagues conducted a survey to assess the prevalence of depression and anxiety in the adult U.S. population after initial COVID-19 lockdowns.

The researchers found that the prevalence of depression was 39 percent, anxiety was 42 percent, and psychological distress was 39 percent. Depression was more likely among men, while anxiety was more likely among women. Depression was significantly higher for Hispanics, while anxiety prevalence was high among African-Americans and Hispanics. The prevalence rates of all three conditions were high among married individuals, those with children at home, bachelor's degree holders, those employed full time, health care workers, and those earning less than $60,000. Depression and anxiety prevalence were high among those ages 18 to 25 years, while the prevalence of moderate-to-severe psychological distress was high for those ages 18 to 40 years.

"Our study results indicate that the rate of serious mental health issues such as depression and anxiety have more than doubled in the USA during the pandemic (i.e., compared to the rates before the pandemic in the year 2019)," the authors write.

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