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Psychological distress among people with probable COVID-19 infection: analysis of the UK Household Longitudinal Study

By Claire L. Niedzwiedz, Michaela Benzeval, Kirsten Hainey, Alastair Leyland, Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi

Posted 28 Nov 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.24.20237909

Studies exploring the longer-term effects of experiencing COVID-19 infection on mental health are lacking. We explored the relationship between reporting probable COVID-19 symptoms in April 2020 and psychological distress (measured using the General Health Questionnaire) one, two, three, five and seven months later. Data were taken from the UK Household Longitudinal Study, a nationally representative household panel survey of UK adults. Elevated levels of psychological distress were found up to seven months after probable COVID-19, compared to participants with no likely infection. Associations were stronger among younger age groups and men. Further research into the psychological sequalae of COVID-19 is urgently needed.

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