Physical and mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic at first year in a Spanish adult cohort.

Castellvi Obiols P, Miranda-Mendizabal A, Recoder S, Calbo Sebastian E, Casajuana-Closas M, Leiva D, Manolov R, Matilla-Santander N, Lloveras-Bernat I, Forero CG

Sci Rep 13 (1) 4547 [2023-03-20; online 2023-03-20]

The COVID-19 pandemic and the political and health measures have profoundly affected the health of our populations. However, very few studies have been published assessing its impact using a prospective cohort. The aim of this study is to describe the impact on physical and mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the general population in Spain, and according to COVID-19 clinical status, during the first year of the pandemic. A longitudinal cohort study with two online surveys were performed on a representative sample of the adult Spanish population before (N = 2005, October/November 2019) and during the pandemic (N = 1357, November/December 2020). We assessed disability using the World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS), major depressive episode (MDE) and suicidal thoughts and behaviours (STB), using an adapted version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI 3.0); generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) using the GAD-7 scale; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms using the PTSD checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5). For physical health, there was a statistically significant loss of weight (mean/SD) (T0, 73.22/15.56 vs. T1, 71.21/11.94), less use of tobacco (T0, 11.4% vs. T1, 9.0%) and decreased disability (mean/SD) (T0, 21.52/9.22 vs. T1, 19.03/7.32). For mental health, there was a significant increase in MDE (T0, 6.5% vs. T1, 8.8%) and in the prevalence of GAD (T0, 13.7% vs. T1, 17.7%). The prevalence of STB (T0, 15.1% vs. T1, 7.1%) significantly decreased. Individuals who declared they had been diagnosed with COVID-19 (3.6%) showed a worsening in physical health and an increase in mental health problems and PTSD symptoms. Although suicide risk during the first year of the pandemic was significantly less, many suicide risk factors increased: such as the incidence and persistence of MDE and GAD, the presence of PTSD symptoms in those diagnosed with COVID-19, and a worsening in self-assessed health status. We expect an increase in STB in the population in the long-term. Future research should gather information about the long-term impact of the pandemic.

Category: Health

Type: Journal article

PubMed 36941282

DOI 10.1038/s41598-023-28336-2

Crossref 10.1038/s41598-023-28336-2

pmc: PMC10026238
pii: 10.1038/s41598-023-28336-2

Publications 9.2.2