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

Elsevier, The Lancet, Volume 398, 6 November 2021
Santomauro D.F., Mantilla Herrera A.M., Shadid J., Zheng P., Ashbaugh C., Pigott D.M. et al.
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. We searched PubMed, Google Scholar, preprint servers, grey literature sources, and consulted experts. Eligible studies reported prevalence of depressive or anxiety disorders that were representative of the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic and had a pre-pandemic baseline. We used the assembled data in a meta-regression to estimate change in the prevalence of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders between pre-pandemic and mid-pandemic (using periods as defined by each study) via COVID-19 impact indicators (human mobility, daily SARS-CoV-2 infection rate, and daily excess mortality rate). We then used this model to estimate the change from pre-pandemic prevalence (estimated using Disease Modelling Meta-Regression version 2.1 [known as DisMod-MR 2.1]) by age, sex, and location. We used final prevalence estimates and disability weights to estimate years lived with disability and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. Findings: We identified 5683 unique data sources, of which 48 met inclusion criteria (46 studies met criteria for major depressive disorder and 27 for anxiety disorders). Two COVID-19 impact indicators, specifically daily SARS-CoV-2 infection rates and reductions in human mobility, were associated with increased prevalence of major depressive disorder (regression coefficient [B] 0·9 [95% uncertainty interval 0·1 to 1·8; p=0·029] for human mobility, 18·1 [7·9 to 28·3; p=0·0005] for daily SARS-CoV-2 infection) and anxiety disorders (0·9 [0·1 to 1·7; p=0·022] and 13·8 [10·7 to 17·0; p