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BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 1016, 2023 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232318


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic as a public health crisis has led to a significant increase in mental health difficulties. Smoking is strongly associated with mental health conditions, which is why the pandemic might have influenced the otherwise decline in smoking rates. Persons belonging to socioeconomically disadvantaged groups may be particularly affected, both because the pandemic has exacerbated existing social inequalities and because this group was more likely to smoke before the pandemic. We examined smoking prevalence in a French cohort study, focusing on differences between educational attainment. In addition, we examined the association between interpersonal changes in tobacco consumption and educational level from 2018 to 2021. METHODS: Using four assessments of smoking status available from 2009 to 2021, we estimated smoking prevalence over time, stratified by highest educational level in the TEMPO cohort and the difference was tested using chi2 test. We studied the association between interpersonal change in smoking status between 2018 and 2021 and educational attainment among 148 smokers, using multinomial logistic regression. RESULTS: Smoking prevalence was higher among those with low education. The difference between the two groups increased from 2020 to 2021 (4.8-9.4%, p < 0.001). Smokers with high educational level were more likely to decrease their tobacco consumption from 2018 to 2021 compared to low educated smokers (aOR = 2.72 [1.26;5.89]). CONCLUSION: Current findings showed a widening of the social inequality gap in relation to smoking rates, underscoring the increased vulnerability of persons with low educational level to smoking and the likely inadequate focus on social inequalities in relation to tobacco control policies during the pandemic.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Cohort Studies , Public Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Socioeconomic Factors , Educational Status , Smoking/epidemiology , Prevalence
SSM Popul Health ; 20: 101285, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2120105


•Symptoms of anxiety/depression were found in 28.8% of the participants at least once.•Unemployment and financial difficulties were associated with anxiety/depression.•Targeted mental health support could lessen mental health impact.

Psychol Med ; : 1-11, 2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740376


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic might affect mental health. Data from population-representative panel surveys with multiple waves including pre-COVID data investigating risk and protective factors are still rare. METHODS: In a stratified random sample of the German household population (n = 6684), we conducted survey-weighted multiple linear regressions to determine the association of various psychological risk and protective factors assessed between 2015 and 2020 with changes in psychological distress [(PD; measured via Patient Health Questionnaire for Depression and Anxiety (PHQ-4)] from pre-pandemic (average of 2016 and 2019) to peri-pandemic (both 2020 and 2021) time points. Control analyses on PD change between two pre-pandemic time points (2016 and 2019) were conducted. Regularized regressions were computed to inform on which factors were statistically most influential in the multicollinear setting. RESULTS: PHQ-4 scores in 2020 (M = 2.45) and 2021 (M = 2.21) were elevated compared to 2019 (M = 1.79). Several risk factors (catastrophizing, neuroticism, and asking for instrumental support) and protective factors (perceived stress recovery, positive reappraisal, and optimism) were identified for the peri-pandemic outcomes. Control analyses revealed that in pre-pandemic times, neuroticism and optimism were predominantly related to PD changes. Regularized regression mostly confirmed the results and highlighted perceived stress recovery as most consistent influential protective factor across peri-pandemic outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: We identified several psychological risk and protective factors related to PD outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. A comparison of pre-pandemic data stresses the relevance of longitudinal assessments to potentially reconcile contradictory findings. Implications and suggestions for targeted prevention and intervention programs during highly stressful times such as pandemics are discussed.