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Dtsch Arztebl Int ; (Forthcoming)2022 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707144


BACKGROUND: Numerous studies have reported an increase in mental disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the exact reasons for this development are not well understood. In this study we investigate whether pandemic-related occupational and financial changes (e.g., reduced working hours, working from home, financial losses) were associated with increased symptoms of depression and anxiety compared with the situation before the pandemic. METHODS: We analyzed data from the German National Cohort (NAKO) Study. Between May and November 2020, 161 849 study participants answered questions on their mental state and social circumstances. Their responses were compared with data from the baseline survey before the pandemic (2014-2019). Linear fixed-effects models were used to determine whether individual changes in the severity of symptoms of depression (PHQ-9) or anxiety (GAD-7) were associated with occupational/financial changes (controlling for various covariates). RESULTS: The prevalence of moderate or severe symptoms of depression and anxiety increased by 2.4% and 1.5%, respectively, during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the preceding years. The mean severity of the symptoms rose slightly. A pronounced increase in symptoms was observed among those who became unemployed during the pandemic (+ 1.16 points on the depression scale, 95% confidence interval [0.91; 1.41], range 0-27). Increases were also seen for reduced working hours with no short-time allowance, increased working hours, working from home, insecurity regarding employment, and financial strain. The deterioration in mental health was largely statistically explained by the occupational and financial changes investigated in the model. CONCLUSION: Depressive symptoms and anxiety disorders increased slightly in the study population during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Occupational and financial difficulties were an essential contributory factor. These strains should be taken into account both in the care of individual patients and in the planning of targeted prevention measures.

Obes Rev ; 22 Suppl 6: e13215, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1553950


Establishment of the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) has resulted in a surveillance system which provides regular, reliable, timely, and accurate data on children's weight status-through standardized measurement of bodyweight and height-in the WHO European Region. Additional data on dietary intake, physical activity, sedentary behavior, family background, and school environments are collected in several countries. In total, 45 countries in the European Region have participated in COSI. The first five data collection rounds, between 2007 and 2021, yielded measured anthropometric data on over 1.3 million children. In COSI, data are collected according to a common protocol, using standardized instruments and procedures. The systematic collection and analysis of these data enables intercountry comparisons and reveals differences in the prevalence of childhood thinness, overweight, normal weight, and obesity between and within populations. Furthermore, it facilitates investigation of the relationship between overweight, obesity, and potential risk or protective factors and improves the understanding of the development of overweight and obesity in European primary-school children in order to support appropriate and effective policy responses.

Pediatric Obesity , Child , Exercise , Humans , Overweight , Pediatric Obesity/epidemiology , Prevalence , Schools , World Health Organization
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 64(9): 1076-1083, 2021 Sep.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309022


Epidemiology as a scientific discipline is predestined to address key problems in the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to do so, classic and new methods are used, and new challenges are emerging.This paper addresses the various phases of the population-based progression of SARS-CoV­2 infection and COVID-19. Based on a selective literature search, sample questions from studies conducted in Germany and internationally are presented, their respective epidemiological approaches discussed, and research gaps described.Scientific questions to be answered with epidemiological data and research approaches arise in every phase of infection and disease. Descriptive data are often generated via (repeated) cross-sectional studies. For analytical questions, such as the identification of risk groups, case-control studies could have provided valuable results, especially in the early phase of the pandemic, but were rarely conducted. Data from health insurance companies have an important function in the analysis of the course of disease; however, the potential of this data source with regard to questions on vaccination can probably hardly be used. Improved coordination of the various studies and a more "open data" oriented research infrastructure can further strengthen the contribution of epidemiology to the control of the current and future pandemics.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control