October 7, 2021

CDC: National, state trends in adult anxiety, depression during COVID-19

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

This study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that the percentage of US adults with anxiety and depression symptoms increased nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic (August 19, 2020 to June 7, 2021).

Using US Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey (HPS) data, the CDC found that nationally:


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*the average anxiety severity score increased 13% from August 19-31, 2020, to December 9-21, 2020 and then decreased 26.8% from December 9-21, 2020, to May 26-June 7, 2021

*the average depression severity score increased 14.8% from August 19-31, 2020, to December 9-21, 2020, and then decreased 24.8% from December 9-21, 2020, to May 26-June 7, 2021.

Though anxiety and depression symptoms decreased in June 2021, they remained elevated compared with 2019, and state-specific trends were similar to the national trends.

Across the entire study period, the frequency of anxiety and depression symptoms was positively associated with the average number of daily COVID-19 cases.

The increased frequency of anxiety and depression symptoms indicates that mental health services are critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors say.

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