Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on other health issues

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The COVID-19 pandemic has had many impacts on global health beyond those caused by the COVID-19 disease itself. It has led to a reduction in hospital visits for other reasons. There have been 38 per cent fewer hospital visits for heart attack symptoms in the United States and 40 per cent fewer in Spain.[1] The head of cardiology at the University of Arizona said, "My worry is some of these people are dying at home because they're too scared to go to the hospital."[2] There is also concern that people with strokes and appendicitis are not seeking timely treatment.[2] Shortages of medical supplies have impacted people with various conditions.[3]

In several countries there has been a marked reduction of spread of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, attributable to COVID-19 quarantines, social distancing measures, and recommendations to not engage in casual sex.[4][5][6] Similarly, in some places, rates of transmission of influenza and other respiratory viruses significantly decreased during the pandemic.[7][8][9] In addition, the B/Yamagata lineage of influenza B might have become extinct in 2020/2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic measures,[10][11] and there have been no naturally occurring cases confirmed since March 2020.[12][13] In 2023, the World Health Organization concluded that protection against the Yamagata lineage was no longer necessary in the seasonal flu vaccine, reducing the number of lineages targeted by the vaccine from four to three.[12][13]

The pandemic has also negatively impacted mental health globally, including increased loneliness resulting from social distancing[14] and depression and domestic violence from lockdowns.[15] As of June 2020, 40% of U.S. adults were experiencing adverse mental health symptoms, with 11% having seriously considered to attempt suicide.[16] The research data suggest that the pandemic has negative effects on both weight loss and food health monitoring but the effects were short lived results.[17]

Paying attention and taking measures to prevent mental health problems and post-traumatic stress syndrome, particularly in women, is already a need.[18]

Mental health[edit]

The pandemic resulted in spikes in anxiety and depression in the general public.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the mental health of people across the globe.[19][20][21][22] The pandemic has caused widespread anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.[22][23][24] According to the UN health agency WHO, in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, prevalence of common mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, went up by more than 25 percent.[25][26] The pandemic has damaged social relationships, trust in institutions and in other people, has caused changes in work and income, and has imposed a substantial burden of anxiety and worry on the population.[27] Women and young people face the greatest risk of depression and anxiety.[20][24]

COVID-19 triggered issues caused by substance use disorders (SUDs). The pandemic disproportionately affects people with SUDs.[28] The health consequences of SUDs (for example, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, type 2 diabetes, immunosuppression and central nervous system depression, and psychiatric disorders), and the associated environmental challenges (such as housing instability, unemployment, and criminal justice involvement), are associated with an increased risk for contracting COVID-19. Confinement rules, as well as unemployment and fiscal austerity measures during and following the pandemic period, can also affect the illicit drug market and patterns of use among consumers of illicit drugs drastically.

Mitigation measures (i.e. physical distancing, quarantine, and isolation) can worsen loneliness, mental health symptoms, withdrawal symptoms, and psychological trauma.

Childhood vaccinations[edit]

UNICEF estimates that 117 million children across 37 countries may not receive their immunizations in time to prevent a measles outbreak. Pediatricians in the United States are worried about childhood vaccination rates. In April, the CDC reported that 400,000 fewer doses of measles vaccine were ordered in 2020 compared to the same time last year.[29]

Mosquito-borne diseases[edit]

Although it is highly unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted by mosquitoes,[30] the pandemic nevertheless has a large impact on the control of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria or dengue fever. Reasons are disruptions in medical supply chains, patients avoiding hospitals, and halted mosquito control campaigns such as removal of breeding sites or distribution of insecticide treated bed nets.[31][32][33]

Maternal mortality[edit]

The United States, in particular, saw a 40 percent increase in maternal mortality in 2021, before returning to rates similar to prepandemic levels in 2022. Pregnancy-related conditions such as increased abdominal pressure and propensity for blood clots interacted negatively with SARS-CoV-2 infection, while viral damage to the placenta led to increased risk of dangerous conditions such as pre-eclampsia. Racial disparities were particularly acute, with Black women dying at 2.6 times the rate of white women and Native American and Alaska Native women dying at double the rate of white women in pregnancies from 2020 to 2021.[34]

Health insurance[edit]

Millions of Americans lost their health insurance after losing their jobs.[35][36][37][38] The Independent reported that Families USA "found that the spike in uninsured Americans – adding to an estimated 84 million people who are already uninsured or underinsured – is 39 per cent higher than any previous annual increase, including the most recent surge at the height of the recession between 2008 and 2009 when nearly 4 million non-elderly Americans lost insurance."[39]

Other respiratory diseases[edit]

In late 2022, during the first Northern Hemisphere autumn and winter seasons following the widespread relaxation of global public health measures, North America and Europe experienced a surge in respiratory viruses and coinfections in both adults and children. This formed the beginnings of the 2022–2023 pediatric care crisis and what some experts have termed a "tripledemic" of seasonal influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and SARS-CoV-2 throughout North America.[40][41] In the United Kingdom, pediatric infections also began to spike beyond pre-pandemic levels, albeit with different illnesses, such as Group A streptococcal infection and scarlet fever.[42] As of mid-December 2022, 19 children in the UK had died due to Strep A and the wave of infections had begun to spread into North America and Mainland Europe.[43][44]

Populations had been exposed to these diseases lower-than-usual rates while masks were worn and social distancing was practiced, thus exhibiting weakened immune responses.[45] Medical professionals have also posited that, since most children have had one or more SARS-CoV-2 infections by late 2022, COVID-19 may have affected children's immune systems in yet-to-be-determined ways.[46] Research demonstrates patients infected with influenza as well as Covid are over twice as likely to die as patients with only Covid. The general public has been urged to get Influenza vaccination as well as Covid vaccination.[47]


UNFPA recommends that governments maintain sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information and services, protect health workers and limit spread of COVID-19. This includes a comprehensive approach to SRHR information and services encompassing antenatal care (ANC), care during childbirth, postnatal care (PNC), contraception, safe abortion care, prevention, testing and treatment of HIV, where relevant, as well as sexually transmitted infections (STI), detection and treatment of GBV, and sexual health services and information.[48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Garcia S, Albaghdadi MS, Meraj PM, Schmidt C, Garberich R, Jaffer FA, et al. (June 2020). "Reduction in ST-Segment Elevation Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Activations in the United States During COVID-19 Pandemic". Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 75 (22): 2871–2872. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2020.04.011. PMC 7151384. PMID 32283124.
  2. ^ a b 'Where are all our patients?': Covid phobia is keeping people with serious heart symptoms away from ERs, Stat News, Usha Lee McFarling, 23 April 2020.
  3. ^ Faust JS (April 28, 2020). "Medication Shortages Are the Next Crisis". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  4. ^ "Sexually transmitted infections surveillance reports - Reports". Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  5. ^ Wareham J. "U.K. Lockdown Has 'Broken HIV Chain' With Huge Reduction In New STI Cases". Forbes. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  6. ^ Chow, Eric P F; Hocking, Jane S; Ong, Jason J; Phillips, Tiffany R; Fairley, Christopher K (January 1, 2021). "Sexually Transmitted Infection Diagnoses and Access to a Sexual Health Service Before and After the National Lockdown for COVID-19 in Melbourne, Australia". Open Forum Infectious Diseases. 8 (1): ofaa536. doi:10.1093/ofid/ofaa536. ISSN 2328-8957. PMC 7665697. PMID 33506064.
  7. ^ Cowling BJ, Ali ST, Ng TW, Tsang TK, Li JC, Fong MW, et al. (May 2020). "Impact assessment of non-pharmaceutical interventions against coronavirus disease 2019 and influenza in Hong Kong: an observational study". The Lancet. Public Health. 5 (5): e279–e288. doi:10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30090-6. PMC 7164922. PMID 32311320.
  8. ^ Klein A. "Australia sees huge decrease in flu cases due to coronavirus measures". New Scientist. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  9. ^ "Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report (FluView)". U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). May 8, 2020. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  10. ^ Alhoufie, Sari T.; Alsharif, Naif H.; Alfarouk, Khalid O.; Ibrahim, Nadier A.; Kheyami, Ali M.; Aljifri, Alanoud A. (November 2021). "COVID-19 with underdiagnosed influenza B and parainfluenza-2 co-infections in Saudi Arabia: Two case reports". Journal of Infection and Public Health. 14 (11): 1567–1570. doi:10.1016/j.jiph.2021.09.005. PMC 8442300. PMID 34627054.
  11. ^ Koutsakos, Marios; Wheatley, Adam K.; Laurie, Karen; Kent, Stephen J.; Rockman, Steve (December 2021). "Influenza lineage extinction during the COVID-19 pandemic?". Nature Reviews Microbiology. 19 (12): 741–742. doi:10.1038/s41579-021-00642-4. PMC 8477979. PMID 34584246.
  12. ^ a b World Health Organization (September 29, 2023). "Questions and Answers: Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the southern hemisphere 2024 influenza season and development of candidate vaccine viruses for pandemic preparedness" (PDF). Retrieved October 26, 2023.
  13. ^ a b Schnirring L (September 29, 2023). "WHO advisers recommend switch back to trivalent flu vaccines". CIDRAP. Retrieved October 26, 2023.
  14. ^ Brooks SK, Webster RK, Smith LE, Woodland L, Wessely S, Greenberg N, Rubin GJ (March 2020). "The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence". Lancet. 395 (10227): 912–920. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30460-8. PMC 7158942. PMID 32112714.
  15. ^ Surkova E, Nikolayevskyy V, Drobniewski F (December 2020). "False-positive COVID-19 results: hidden problems and costs". The Lancet. Respiratory Medicine. 8 (12): 1167–1168. doi:10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30453-7. PMC 7524437. PMID 33007240.
  16. ^ Czeisler MÉ, Lane RI, Petrosky E, Wiley JF, Christensen A, Njai R, et al. (August 2020). "Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic - United States, June 24-30, 2020". MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 69 (32): 1049–1057. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6932a1. PMC 7440121. PMID 32790653.
  17. ^ Bullard, Tiffany; Medcalf, Adam; Rethorst, Chad; Foster, Gary D. (2021). "Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on initial weight loss in a digital weight management program: A natural experiment". Obesity. 29 (9): 1434–1438. doi:10.1002/oby.23233. ISSN 1930-739X. PMC 8456790. PMID 34009723.
  18. ^ Castellanos-Torres E, Tomás Mateos J, Chilet-Rosell E (March 3, 2021). "[COVID-19 from a gender perspective]". Gaceta Sanitaria (in Spanish). 34 (5): 419–421. doi:10.1016/j.gaceta.2020.04.007. PMC 7190475. PMID 32423661.
  19. ^ CDC (February 11, 2020). "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  20. ^ a b Stix G. "Pandemic Year 1 Saw a Dramatic Global Rise in Anxiety and Depression". Scientific American. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  21. ^ "The impact of COVID-19 on mental health cannot be made light of". Retrieved January 2, 2024.
  22. ^ a b "Mental Health | NIH COVID-19 Research". Retrieved January 2, 2024.
  23. ^ Luo Y, Chua CR, Xiong Z, Ho RC, Ho CS (November 23, 2020). "A Systematic Review of the Impact of Viral Respiratory Epidemics on Mental Health: An Implication on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic". Frontiers in Psychiatry. 11: 565098. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2020.565098. PMC 7719673. PMID 33329106.
  24. ^ a b Santomauro DF, Herrera AM, Shadid J, Zheng P, Ashbaugh C, Pigott DM, Abbafati C, Adolph C, Amlag JO, Aravkin AY, Bang-Jensen BL (November 2021). "Global prevalence and burden of depressive and anxiety disorders in 204 countries and territories in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic". Lancet. 398 (10312): 1700–1712. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02143-7. PMC 8500697. PMID 34634250. S2CID 238478261.
  25. ^ "COVID-19: Depression, anxiety soared 25 per cent in a year". UN News. March 2, 2022. Retrieved July 31, 2022.
  26. ^ "Nearly one billion people have a mental disorder: WHO". UN News. June 17, 2022. Retrieved July 31, 2022.
  27. ^ "OECD". Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  28. ^ Jemberie WB, Stewart Williams J, Eriksson M, Grönlund AS, Ng N, Blom Nilsson M, Padyab M, Priest KC, Sandlund M, Snellman F, McCarty D, Lundgren LM (July 21, 2020). "Substance Use Disorders and COVID-19: Multi-Faceted Problems Which Require Multi-Pronged Solutions". Frontiers in Psychiatry. 11: 714. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00714. PMC 7396653. PMID 32848907. S2CID 220651117.
  29. ^ Larsen K (May 13, 2020). "UCSF doctor warns 'measles is way more infectious than COVID,' concerned children aren't being vaccinated during pandemic". ABC7 San Francisco.
  30. ^ "WHO Mythbusters". Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  31. ^ The potential impact of health service disruptions on the burden of malaria: A modelling analysis for countries in sub-Saharan Africa. World Health Organization. 2020. ISBN 978-92-4-000464-1.
  32. ^ Hogan AB, Jewell BL, Sherrard-Smith E, Vesga JF, Watson OJ, Whittaker C, et al. (September 2020). "Potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in low-income and middle-income countries: a modelling study". The Lancet. Global Health. 8 (9): e1132–e1141. doi:10.1016/s2214-109x(20)30288-6. PMC 7357988. PMID 32673577.
  33. ^ "WHO Director-General on the double challenge of malaria and COVID-19, 4th September". Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  34. ^ Caryn Rabin, Roni (March 16, 2023). "Covid Worsened a Health Crisis Among Pregnant Women". New York Times. Archived from the original on March 16, 2023. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  35. ^ "Millions Have Lost Health Insurance in Pandemic-Driven Recession". The New York Times. July 13, 2020.
  36. ^ "5.4 million Americans have lost their health insurance. What to do if you're one of them". CNBC. July 14, 2020.
  37. ^ "27 million Americans could lose health insurance as Congress proposes industry 'bailout'". The Independent. May 13, 2020.
  38. ^ "Up to 43m Americans could lose health insurance amid pandemic, report says". The Guardian. May 20, 2020.
  39. ^ "Coronavirus: 5.4m Americans lost health insurance during pandemic, report says". The Independent. July 15, 2020.
  40. ^ Wu, Katherine (October 31, 2022). "The Worst Pediatric-Care Crisis in Decades". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on October 31, 2022. Retrieved November 1, 2022.
  41. ^ Mandavilli, Apoorva (October 23, 2022). "A 'Tripledemic'? Flu, R.S.V. and Covid May Collide This Winter, Experts Say". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 28, 2022. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  42. ^ Mackintosh, Thomas; Durbin, Adam (December 3, 2022). "Father of girl, 4, fighting for life with Strep A infection is 'praying for a miracle'". BBC News. Archived from the original on December 3, 2022. Retrieved December 4, 2022.
  43. ^ "Strep A kills three more children as UK activates alternative medicines plan: At least 19 children have died and scarlet fever cases are more than treble what they were in previous high season". The Guardian. December 15, 2022. Archived from the original on December 17, 2022. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  44. ^ Wetsman, Nicole; McLean, Nicole (December 16, 2022). "US children's hospitals are tracking increases in severe strep infections". ABC News. Archived from the original on December 17, 2022. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  45. ^ Return of the common cold: infections surge in UK as autumn arrivesThe Guardian
  46. ^ Prater, Erin (November 1, 2022). "Viral infections like RSV, the flu, and COVID have one Southern California county declaring a pediatric health emergency. It's far from alone". Fortune. Archived from the original on November 2, 2022. Retrieved November 2, 2022.
  47. ^ Flu jab vital this winter along with Covid vaccine BBC
  48. ^ Continuing essential Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health services during COVID-19 pandemic (PDF). World Health Organization, UNFPA, UNICEF. 2020.