Scientists from BC Children’s Hospital and elsewhere found the different effects of COVID-19 on anxiety.
They found in those with asthma, the pandemic was linked to increased anxiety and asthma symptoms, while in parents of children with food allergies the pandemic led to decreased food allergy-related anxiety.
The research findings are published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and were conducted by Kamal Eldeirawi et al.
In the past two years, COVID-19 has provoked anxiety throughout the world for people worried they and their loved ones would get the virus and suffer tragic consequences.
The first study examined whether COVID-19-related anxiety was associated with uncontrolled asthma in adults.
The team examined 873 online COVID-19 surveys from adults diagnosed with asthma to gauge their anxiety and asthma control during the pandemic
Almost 57% had a self-reported asthma attack during the pandemic, 29% contacted their healthcare provider for urgent symptoms and 43% had uncontrolled asthma.
Almost 48% of participants had a high anxiety score, and participants with higher anxiety levels were more likely to report having uncontrolled asthma.
Findings from a national sample of US adults suggest increased physical and mental symptoms among those with chronic respiratory conditions during COVID-19 compared to others
This study seems to support these findings and also shows a significant, unfavorable effect of COVID-19-related anxiety on asthma control.
The second study examined 293 questionnaires completed by Canadian parents of children with food allergies.
The survey was conducted in May and June of 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic.
The team examined food allergy-specific anxiety (FAA), which is distinct from other types of anxiety.
They found that 67% of the respondents reported an increase in stress and anxiety that they attributed to COVID-19, while only 28% reported increased FAA due to COVID-19.
In fact, most respondents reported unchanged (30%) or decreased (42%) FAA attributable to COVID-19.
Respondents in the survey reported that the pandemic was associated with a decrease in all FAA aspects, with the greatest reductions related to worries about unfamiliar places and management of allergy reactions by other caregivers.
Some respondents noted increased anxiety due to the pandemic causing shortages of safe foods and ingredients they rely on to prevent allergic reactions for their children.
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