Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic Associated with Depression among Non-Hispanic Whites with Chronic Conditions in the United States




Paul, Jenny
Wang, Hao
Ye, Ivana


0000-0002-0967-5712 (Paul, Jenny)

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Purpose: During the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, increased depression was reported, with mixed findings among individuals of different races and ethnicities. This study examines whether depression increased during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the pre-COVD-19 period among different racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of secondary data from the National Cancer Institute's Health Information National Trend Surveys 5 (HINTS 5) Cycle 4 was conducted. Survey responses were separated into two groups based on date of response; a pre-COVID-19 cohort (before March 11, 2020, weighted N = 77,501,549) and a COVID-19 cohort (on and after March 11, 2020, weighted N = 37,222,019). The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) was used to measure depression and results were further compared before and during COVID-19. Separate multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to determine the association of the COVID-19 pandemic depression after adjusting for age, sex, insurance, income, and education. Results: A higher percentage of Non-Hispanic Whites (NHW) with chronic conditions reported depression (20.7% vs. 9.3%, p=0.0034) during COVID-19 than pre-COVID-19. The adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of depression for NHWs with chronic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic was 2.33 (1.17-4.65, p=0.018) compared to NHWs who participated in the survey before the COVID-19. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with an increased prevalence of depression among NHW adults with chronic conditions, but not among people of color.