People who may have had Covid for a long time are more likely to be depressed and anxious – ONS
People who have had or suspect they have had Covid for a long time are almost twice as likely to have suffered from depression than those who do not think they have ever contracted coronavirus, research shows.
Some 6.2% of adults said they may have lived with Covid for a long time when asked by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) between April 7 and June 13.
Of these, 30% said they had experienced moderate to severe depressive symptoms in the past two weeks.
This compares to 16% of respondents who did not think they had contracted the coronavirus.
A quarter (25%) were likely to have some form of anxiety, compared to 15% of people who would not have been affected by Covid.
The ONS said it was not possible to infer cause-and-effect relationships from the results, warning that the associations could be the result of other factors such as age, gender, disability or level of deprivation.
People who may have had Covid for a long time were also more likely to say that their well-being, work and household finances had been affected.
The ONS gathered 10 waves of data on 39,268 respondents aged 16 and over in Great Britain.
The total proportion of those who may have had a long Covid was divided into 3.6% who said they had a long Covid, and 2.6% who said they were not sure.
Women, adults with disabilities, those aged 30 to 49 and those living in the most disadvantaged areas of England were more likely to say they may have had Covid for a long time.
Some 57% of adults who may have had Covid for a long time said it had negatively affected their well-being, while 39% said their ability to exercise was affected.
Looking only at those who were sure they had lived with the Covid for a long time, 72% said their well-being had been negatively affected and 48% said the same about their ability to exercise.
People who said they may have had Covid for a long time were more likely to report feeling lonely or often (10%) compared to people who didn’t think they had ever had the virus (6%).
And they were more likely to say their work had been affected by the pandemic (44% vs. 36%) and their household finances (22% vs. 13%).
Tim Vizard, ONS Senior Research Officer, said: ‘While there is no single definition of long Covid, it is likely to affect people in different ways and research is already showing the impacts. potentials on physical health.
“Today’s research highlights the potential for people’s mental health, well-being or work to be affected by a long Covid.
“We have found more people who may have had long-standing negative effects on the Covid report, but more work is needed to disentangle the effects of a long Covid from a variety of factors such as age, gender or disability. “
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on the coronavirus, said: “These striking figures highlight the immense impact that Covid has long had on people’s daily lives and the utter inadequacy of the response from the government so far.
“From people’s mental health to their household finances, the shadow cast by the long Covid on our society is even worse than feared.
“Boris Johnson’s reckless choice to allow cases to increase risks leaving more people with this debilitating disease, with devastating consequences for the economy and the NHS.
“An urgent strategy is needed to respond to the threat posed by the long Covid and provide support to the thousands of people suffering from the long-term consequences of this pandemic. “