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Increasing anxiety and depression

Léo Ramos Chaves

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to 129.4 million new cases of anxiety and depression worldwide, according to a survey by a group of researchers from several countries, including Brazil. Led by Damian F. Santomauro of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Queensland in Herston, Australia, the team carried out a comprehensive review of studies published between January 2020 and January 2021, estimating the pandemic’s impact on the prevalence of these mental disorders. The researchers used statistical regression models to compare the numbers with data from the previous period. They found that in 2020 alone, the pandemic resulted in 53.2 million new cases of depression and 76.2 million of anxiety (The Lancet, October 8). The increase is likely due to the high rates of coronavirus infection and social restrictions. Women and young people were most affected, possibly because of the burden of domestic responsibilities, gender-based violence, school closures, and fear of unemployment.