COVID-19 doubled risk of mental health, loneliness and financial problems in older adults: study

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An estimated 40% of older people likely infected with Covid-19 experienced more financial hardship than before the pandemic, compared to 20% of uninfected people. Feelings of loneliness were also twice as high in older people with probable infection as in those without.

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London: Older people appear to be twice as likely to develop mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, in addition to suffering financial hardship after contracting Covid-19, a study has found.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that 49% of older people with probable Covid infection had clinically significant depressive symptoms, compared to 22% of those who were not infected.

Meanwhile, 12% of those probably infected were identified as suffering from anxiety, compared to 6% of those who were not infected.

These side effects lasted for up to six months after the suspected onset of the infection and seemed to get worse.

In addition, an estimated 40% of older people likely infected with Covid-19 experienced more financial hardship than before the pandemic, compared to 20% of uninfected people. Feelings of loneliness were also twice as high in older people with probable infection as in those without.

“Our study shows that older people with probable Covid-19 infection experienced higher levels of depression and anxiety, poorer quality of life, higher feelings of loneliness and greater financial hardship compared to those without probable infection. This was evident both in the acute phase of infection and up to six months later,” said lead author Dr Ellie Iob of University College London.

“These results suggest that the negative psychosocial impact of Covid-19 infection is long-lasting and more widely present in the population. We encourage anyone who may be experiencing mental health or well-being issues to speak to their GP,” said Iob. added.

For the study, the team used data from 5,146 adults between the ages of 52 and 74. Participants provided data before the pandemic (2018-19) and during two Covid-19 assessments in 2020 (June-July and November-December).

Disclaimer: This story was published from a news service and nothing except the title has been edited by Times Now.

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