HealthDay News — Younger people seem to be experiencing increased anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online Nov. 24 in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Alex S.F. Kwong, Ph.D., from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used data from two generations of participants in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; index generation [ALSPAC-young], 2,850 individuals; mean age, 28 years; parent generation [ALSPAC-parents], 3,720 individuals; mean age, 59 years) and participants in Generation Scotland (4,233 individuals; mean age, 59 years) to quantify the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and mental well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The researchers found that depression during the COVID-19 pandemic was similar to prepandemic levels in ALSPAC-young, but those experiencing anxiety almost doubled during the pandemic: 24 percent versus prepandemic levels of 13 percent. In both population cohorts, anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic were greater in younger members, women, those with preexisting mental or physical health conditions, and individuals with socioeconomic adversity, even when adjusting for prepandemic anxiety and depression.
“Depression and anxiety, along with associated impairment should continue to be carefully monitored to forecast the long-term impact of this crisis,” the authors write. “This can help ensure that future policies consider optimal preservation of both physical and mental health.”
One author disclosed financial ties to Roche Diagnostics and Medtronic.