The COVID-19 pandemic and associated stress and sadness situations did not significantly increase the prevalence of depression and anxiety among participants in the Longitudinal Study on the Health of Brazilian Adults in São Paulo (ELSA-Brazil). Hmm.
ELSA-Brazil has been monitoring the overall health of 15,000 civil servants at six public universities and research centers in Brazil since 2008. mental health It was held in São Paulo during the pandemic and was attended by 2,117 members of the University of São Paulo (USP) staff. These members participated in a national survey and were between the ages of 50 and 80.
This study, supported by the Sao Paulo Research Foundation-FAPESP, aims to compare mental health before and during a pandemic in both healthy subjects and those suffering from anxiety and depression.
“This is good news, but São Paulo is one of the highest prevalence of mental illness in the world, affecting about 20% of the population. For example, in a similar study conducted in the United Kingdom, this The explanation could be what we call the ceiling effect. The prevalence is already so high that it cannot be raised any further, “said Andre Brunoni, senior researcher at the project. Said. Brunoni is a professor at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine (FM-USP).
The results of the study are reported in an article published in Psychosomatic medicine..They show a prevalence that drops from 23.5% to 21.1% Mental illness Generally, in 2020, it will be 3.3% to 2.8% for depression and 13.8% to 8% for anxiety.
Prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress is stable during the three periods of the year (May-July, July-September, October-December) when information on participants’ mental health was collected. Is or has dropped to a moderate level.
“Of course, everyone is sadder and more worried about the situation,” Brunoni said. “In our survey, 30% of respondents reported symptoms of depression or anxiety, but these were subjective assessments. The diagnosis showed stability or even diminished. The same is anxiety. Or it also applies to the symptoms of depression. “
According to Brunoni, psychiatrists have had at least two major symptoms (eg, lack of sadness and joy from previously enjoyed activities) and five of nine minor symptoms (anxiety) over a period of two months or more. , Sleep disorders, weight loss, or benefits, low self-worth thoughts, and changes in libido).
The data described in the article is Risk of mental illness It was large among the youngest and most vulnerable people in society, including women, non-university subjects, and non-white people. “Age was the only risk factor not among the classic elements of vulnerability in our society,” Brunoni said. “The risk of mental illness was highest among the youngest participants in our study, under the age of 60. This is probably during the pandemic, even after the elderly were protected and mobility restrictions were lifted. Because I didn’t have to. “
Another aspect observed in this study, and an aspect explored further in the new analysis, is the intensification of the double burden on women. “Mental illness did not increase in male respondents with children at home, but increased in females. This time, the impact of doing paid work, doing household chores, and caring for children during the blockade. I want to think about it, “he explained.
Financial stability was also an important factor in maintaining mental health, even in very stressful situations. The survey sample is older, with an average age of 62 years, and as a civil servant, participants receive tenure and other forms of social protection that are not available to the general public.
“We believe that age contributed more than safety to the absence of an increase in mental illness. Adolescent studies conducted in line with the same policy will probably detect an increase in the diagnosis of mental illness. “Brunoni said. The reason is that mental illness is associated with genetic or biological vulnerabilities as well as environmental factors such as external stress. “Mental illness usually peaks around the age of 20 or 30, when the subject is most exposed to the outside world, and then declines.”
About 25% of the participants were diagnosed with some form of mental illness. “In retrospect, these people between the ages of 50 and 80 experienced dictatorship, hyperinflation, and Plano Collor. [an economic program implemented in 1990 by Fernando Collor, Brazil’s president until 1992, freezing all bank accounts, among other measures] And probably a lot of loss in life. They have experienced so many adversities that they may have developed a mental illness if they had a genetic predisposition. “
The feeling of loneliness during a pandemic is also the subject of this research and will be explored further in future research. “Many respondents, albeit in fact, said technology is the key to dealing with loneliness and staying in touch with family and friends,” he said. “This was important because people who report interpersonal problems are at increased risk of experiencing symptoms of mental illness.”
For more information:
André Russowsky Brunonietal, Prevalence and Risk Factors for Psychiatric Symptoms and Diagnosis Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic: ELSA-Findings from the Brazilian COVID-19 Mental Health Cohort, Psychosomatic medicine (2021). DOI: 10.1017 / S0033291721001719
Quote: Survey: https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-prevalence-mental-illness-pandemic-aged of 50-80 years old (July 14, 2021) obtained on July 14, 2021 Prevalence of mental illness during a pandemic.html
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Prevalence of mental illness during a pandemic between the ages of 50 and 80
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