(CNN Español) – People have had higher levels of anxiety and loneliness during the pandemic. This is revealed by a study by the Bloomberg School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins University, which compared data with those obtained in 2018.
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In this episode, Dr. Elmer Huerta breaks down the groups that showed an increase in cases.
You can listen to this episode on Spotify or your favorite podcast platform or read the transcript below.
Hello, I am Dr. Elmer Huerta and this is your daily dose of information about the new coronavirus, information that we hope will be useful to take care of your health and that of your family. Today we will see that the pandemic has caused many people to develop anguish and feelings of loneliness.
Undoubtedly, the pandemic has made life change forever in most of the world. The way we live, work, study and even have fun is no longer the same.
According to mental health professionals, the new coronavirus has affected the mental health of many people.
There are those who have developed feelings of loneliness derived from voluntary or compulsory social isolation, anxiety for fear of catching the virus, and stress caused by lack of work and uncertainty about the future.
To understand the magnitude of the problem, several researchers from the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University conducted a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association for June 3, 2020. There they compare the frequency of symptoms such as stress, anxiety and loneliness during these pandemic months with the same time of year 2018.
The invitation to participate was made through the Internet, using a representative database of the US population. In total, the response rate to the survey was 70.4%, with a final sample of 1,468 adults aged 18 years and over.
What was found was that the prevalence of symptoms related to psychological distress among American adults was higher during the covid-19 pandemic than in 2018.
In April 2020, nearly 14% of American adults reported that they always or frequently felt lonely.
By comparison, a national survey that used an identical measure of loneliness found that 11% of U.S. adults reported always or frequently feeling lonely, between April and May 2018.
The authors conclude that because loneliness increased only slightly from 2018 to 2020, other factors may be causing psychological distress during the covid-19 pandemic.
In April 2020, nearly 14% of American adults reported symptoms of severe distress, compared with 4% in 2018.
Symptoms of psychological distress during the pandemic were 24% among young adults, ages 18-29, compared to just 3.7% in 2018.
Similarly, during the pandemic, more than 19% of adults with household incomes of less than $ 35,000 per year experienced distress, compared with almost 8% in 2018.
And finally, 18.3% of Hispanic adults experienced distress during the pandemic, compared to 4.4% in 2018.
Interestingly, the researchers found that the lowest prevalence of severe psychological distress during the pandemic was seen in adults over 55 years of age.
The authors conclude that the pandemic has caused – compared to the same time of year 2018 – that feelings of stress, anguish and loneliness have increased significantly in the United States, especially among the youngest.
Our recommendation is that if the pandemic is causing you stress, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness, seek help. Many countries have psychological help lines that you can call for a consultation.
Send me your questions on Twitter, we will try to answer them in our next episodes. You can find me at @DrHuerta.
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