Coronavirus pandemic raises depression diagnoses by 41%
The diagnoses of depression in the Brazilian adult population grew 41% in the first two years of the Covid pandemic. Women were the main drivers of the increase, with more than double the prevalence recorded among men. In the depressed population, there was a significant worsening of healthy lifestyle habits, such as a drop in physical activity, in addition to an increase in the rate of smoking. The conclusion is an unprecedented analysis by Covitel, a telephone survey that portrayed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases. Data from before Covid and from the first quarter of 2022 were analyzed, a period in which the health crisis gave a little respite. In the case of women, the diagnosis of depression went from 13.5% to 18.8%. Among men, it jumped from 5.4% to 7.8%. Conducted by Vital Strategies, a global public health organization, and by UFPel (Federal University of Pelotas), the survey interviewed 9,000 Brazilians in the five regions of the country.