A new study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that people who report symptoms of a medical condition known as “Long Covid” may actually be suffering from depression and anxiety, particularly women.
The NIH conducted the study between June 30, 2020, and July 2021. The study’s findings appear in the May 24 “Annals of Internal Medicine.”
Researchers based their findings on 309 participants enrolled within a 100-mile radius of Bethesda, Maryland. Of the total sample, 180 people had a previous COVID-19 infection with mild to moderate symptoms that did not require hospitalization.
The study enrolled 122 control participants who never had the illness.
It found participants from the COVID-19 group reported more physical symptoms associated with long-haul COVID-19 (PASC) than those in the control group.
These symptoms included fatigue, difficulty concentrating, headache, memory impairment, insomnia, chest discomfort, and anxiety.
Researchers administered individual surveys to screen for mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. A total score of 3 or higher was the recommended cutoff on each measure to warrant further evaluation.