Many older people get depression during COVID-19 pandemic

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In a new study from University College London, researchers found during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increase in the prevalence of clinically significant depressive symptoms among older adults.

They analyzed data from 5,146 older adults participating in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

Participants provided data before the COVID-19 pandemic and on two occasions in 2020 (June or July and November or December).

The researchers found an increase in the prevalence of strong depressive symptoms from 12.5% before the COVID-19 pandemic to 22.6% and 28.5% in June and July and in November and December 2020, respectively.

The increase was accompanied by increased loneliness and a decline in quality of life.

From June and July 2020 to November and December 2020, the prevalence of anxiety increased from 9.4% to 10.9%.

Worse changes in mental health were experienced by women and nonpartnered individuals.

Before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the lowest levels of mental health were seen for participants with less wealth.

Better mental health overall was seen for higher socioeconomic groups, but they responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with more negative changes.

The team says as the COVID-19 crisis extends beyond 2021, there is a need to sustain the mental health of older people in the population and to plan health and social support services as face-to-face contact becomes more feasible.

If you care about mental health, please read studies about depression drug that could help reduce death risk in COVID-19, and vegetable that could help lower depression.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about new chewing gum that could reduce COVID-19 transmission, and results showing that Omicron may not be the final variant, but it may be the final variant of concern.

The study is published in JAMA Psychiatry. One author of the study is Paola Zaninotto, Ph.D.

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