EHS-COVID (457) The Lancet: Global prevalence and burden of depressive and anxiety disorders in 204 countries and territories in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

5 November, 2021

The authors of this systematic review estimate that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an additional 53·2 million cases of major depressive disorder globally [not including the past 9 months], with clear implications on the need to promote mental wellbeing and strengthen mental health services. I invite HIFA members to share experience of mental health issues in your country and/or in your healthcare facility. How have you responded to these issues?

CITATION: Global prevalence and burden of depressive and anxiety disorders in 204 countries and territories in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 Mental Disorders Collaborators

Volume 398, issue 10312, p1700-1712, november 06, 2021

Published:October 08, 2021 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02143-7

SUMMARY

Background: Before 2020, mental disorders were leading causes of the global health-related burden, with depressive and anxiety disorders being leading contributors to this burden. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has created an environment where many determinants of poor mental health are exacerbated. The need for up-to-date information on the mental health impacts of COVID-19 in a way that informs health system responses is imperative. In this study, we aimed to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the prevalence and burden of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders globally in 2020.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review of data reporting the prevalence of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic and published between Jan 1, 2020, and Jan 29, 2021...

Findings: ... Altogether, major depressive disorder caused 49·4 million (33·6 to 68·7) DALYs and anxiety disorders caused 44·5 million (30·2 to 62·5) DALYs globally in 2020.

Interpretation: This pandemic has created an increased urgency to strengthen mental health systems in most countries. Mitigation strategies could incorporate ways to promote mental wellbeing and target determinants of poor mental health and interventions to treat those with a mental disorder. Taking no action to address the burden of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders should not be an option.

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org