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Psychiatric Disorders, Loneliness Common During the Pandemic

People with COVID-19 symptoms, women, young people may be more at risk

depressed woman

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There are high prevalence rates of general psychiatric disorders and loneliness in the general U.K. population during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online June 30 in Psychiatry Research.

Lambert Zixin Li, from Stanford University in California, and Senhu Wang, Ph.D., from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, conducted a survey of 15,530 residents to investigate the prevalence and predictors of general psychiatric disorders and frequency of loneliness during COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.

The researchers found that 29.2 percent of the respondents scored 4 or higher on the 12-item General Health Questionnaire, the caseness threshold on the general psychiatric disorder measure. Furthermore, 35.86 percent of respondents reported sometimes or often feeling lonely. Participants who have or had COVID-19-related symptoms were more likely to develop general psychiatric disorders and were lonelier. There were higher risks for general psychiatric disorders and loneliness among women and young people. Having a job and living with a partner emerged as protective factors.

"Although the minor psychiatric disorders are often less urgent concerns of the public health policies, they are not negligible given the large proportion of the population that have been affected," Li said in a statement.

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