A new study has found that people who reported higher amounts of stress, anxiety, and depression, were more likely to contract COVID-19.
Researchers set out to determine whether these factors were associated with the risk of COVID-19 infection. In addition, they also investigated whether these factors had any correlation with the severity of COVID-19 symptoms that were reported.
To do this, the researchers collected data gathered from an online survey. Participants self-reported on COVID-19 infections and symptoms, as well as questionnaires that included measures of psychological factors – such as anxiety, depression, and stress.
The researchers found that people who reported psychological symptoms early in the pandemic, were significantly more likely to report COVID-19 infection. These people were also more likely to report experiencing not only a higher number of symptoms, but also more severe symptoms.
This may be particularly important, since the pandemic itself has caused an increase in stress, anxiety and depression.
According to Professor Vedhara – Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Nottingham, UK – “The significance of the work is in that it turns the debate regarding the mental health aspects of the pandemic on its head. Our data show that increased stress, anxiety and depression are not only consequences of living with the pandemic, but may also be factors that increase our risk of getting SARS-CoV-2 too.
1. Eurekalert: Stress associated with an increased risk of getting Covid-19, study finds. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/93997
2. Kieran Ayling, PhD, Ru Jia, MSc, Carol Coupland, PhD, Trudie Chalder, PhD, Adam Massey, PhD, Elizabeth Broadbent, PhD, Kavita Vedhara, PhD, Psychological Predictors of Self-reported COVID-19 Outcomes: Results From a Prospective Cohort Study, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 2022;, kaab106, https://doi.org/10.1093/abm/kaab106
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