Survey reports differences in mental health by vaccination status
A national survey co-led by Northwestern researchers found that despite an increase in vaccines and social activities, mental health issues remain predominant among respondents.
The consortium, a collaboration between NU, Harvard, Northeastern and Rutgers, interviewed more than 21,000 people between April 1 and May 3, according to a press release from the university.
Among respondents, 28 percent indicated levels of depression that would lead to assessment and treatment, a slight decrease from 30 percent from those polled last December.
Previous installments of the survey indicated a strong link between poor mental health and economic stress. Recent findings challenge expectations that mental health may improve as the economy revitalizes and states and social activities reopen.
In particular, young adults aged 18 to 24 showed the strongest signs of mental health problems, with 42% having moderate depression. Respondents 65 and over reported the lowest rates of depression, at 10%.
“This news is sobering and probably reflects that young people already face a lot of uncertainty at this stage of life; the launched pandemic makes this worse, ”co-author and political scientist Professor James Druckman said in the statement.
The report highlighted racial disparities in mental health. People in Latinx reported the highest rates of depression at 33 percent, and White, Black, and Asian American respondents all reported depression at 27 percent.
Notably, the survey results also showed statistically significant differences according to vaccination status. People who reported moderate to severe depression were 51 percent and 32 percent less likely to have received vaccines than those who were vaccinated, respectively.
“This probably reflects a sense of control over uncertainty among those vaccinated,” Druckman said in the statement.
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