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1.
BMJ Open ; 12(4): e060710, 2022 Apr 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774972

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered the sharpest economic downturn since the Great Recession. To prepare for future crises and to preserve public health, we conduct an overview of systematic reviews to examine the evidence on the effect of the Great Recession on population health. METHODS: We searched PubMed and Scopus for systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses focusing specifically on the impact of the Great Recession on population health (eg, mental health). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed throughout this review and critical appraisal of included systematic reviews was performed using Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews. RESULTS: Twenty-one studies were identified and consistently showed that the Great Recession was most risky to health, the more a country's economy was affected and the longer strict austerity policies were in place. Consequently, a deterioration of health was highest in countries that had implemented strict austerity measures (eg, Greece), but not in countries that rejected austerity measures (eg, Germany). Moreover, the impact of the Great Recession fell disproportionately on the most vulnerable groups such as people in unemployment, at risk of unemployment and those living in poverty. CONCLUSIONS: The experiences of the last economic crisis show that it is possible to limit the consequences for health. Prioritising mental healthcare and prevention, foregoing austerity measures in the healthcare system and protecting vulnerable groups are the most important lessons learnt. Moreover, given the further aggravating social inequalities, a health in all policies approach, based on a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment, is advised.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Population Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Economic Recession , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Systematic Reviews as Topic
3.
J Affect Disord ; 306: 28-31, 2022 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1739838

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic can have a serious impact on population mental health. This study seeks to understand whether the economic shocks associated with the pandemic have a differential impact by sex because the current pandemic may have disproportionally affected women compared to men. METHODS: We analyzed data from original online monthly surveys of the general population in Japan conducted between April 2020 and February 2021 (N = 9000). We investigated whether individuals who had experienced a major job-related adverse change were more likely to have experienced depressive symptoms (PHQ-9) and anxiety disorders (GAD-7) during the pandemic and also if its effect varied by sex. RESULTS: The results of logistic regression suggest that depressive and anxiety symptoms were more prevalent among those who had recently experienced drastic changes in employment and working conditions, as well as among individuals with low income and those without college education. We also found that both female and male respondents who had experienced a major employment-related change exhibited depression and anxiety disorders. LIMITATIONS: We do not have data on the pre-COVID mental health conditions of our respondents, and our findings are descriptive. Some segments of the population may not be represented in our sample because our surveys were conducted online. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-induced economic shocks can have a detrimental effect on mental health among both economically vulnerable female and male workers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Economic Recession , Female , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Mental Health , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Scand J Public Health ; 50(1): 6-15, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1724283

ABSTRACT

Background: All-cause mortality is a global indicator of the overall health of the population, and its relation to the macro economy is thus of vital interest. The main aim was to estimate the short-term and the long-term impact of macroeconomic change on all-cause mortality. Variations in the unemployment rate were used as indicator of temporary fluctuations in the economy. Methods: We used time-series data for 21 OECD countries spanning the period 1960-2018. We used four outcomes: total mortality (0+), infant mortality (<1), mortality in the age-group 20-64, and old-age mortality (65+). Data on GDP/capita were obtained from the Maddison Project. Unemployment data (% unemployed in the work force) were sourced from Eurostat. We applied error correction modelling to estimate the short-term and the long-term impact of macroeconomic change on all-cause mortality. Results: We found that increases in unemployment were statistically significantly associated with decreases in all mortality outcomes except old-age mortality. Increases in GDP were associated with significant lowering long-term effects on mortality. Conclusions: Our findings, based on data from predominantly affluent countries, suggest that an increase in unemployment leads to a decrease in all-cause mortality. However, economic growth, as indicated by increased GDP, has a long-term protective health impact as indexed by lowered mortality.


Subject(s)
Infant Mortality , Unemployment , Economic Recession , Humans , Mortality
6.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262337, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662439

ABSTRACT

The speed of the economic downturn in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has been exceptional, causing mass layoffs-in Germany up to 30% of the workforce in some industries. Economic rationale suggests that the decision on which workers are fired should depend on productivity-related individual factors. However, from hiring situations we know that discrimination-i.e., decisions driven by characteristics unrelated to productivity-is widespread in Western labor markets. Drawing on representative survey data on forced layoffs and short-time work collected in Germany between April and December 2020, this study highlights that discrimination against immigrants is also present in firing situations. The analysis shows that employees with a migration background are significantly more likely to lose their job than native workers when otherwise healthy firms are unexpectedly forced to let go of part of their workforce, while firms make more efforts to substitute firing with short-time working schemes for their native workers. Adjusting for detailed job-related characteristics shows that the findings are unlikely to be driven by systematic differences in productivity between migrants and natives. Moreover, using industry-specific variation in the extent of the economic downturn, I demonstrate that layoff probabilities hardly differ across the less affected industries, but that the gap between migrants and natives increases with the magnitude of the shock. In the hardest-hit industries, job loss probability among migrants is three times higher than among natives. This confirms the hypothesis that firing discrimination puts additional pressure on the immigrant workforce in times of crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Economic Recession , Economics , Employment/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Demography/economics , Developed Countries/economics , Emigration and Immigration , Germany , Health Workforce/economics , Humans , Industry/economics , Occupations/economics , Pandemics/economics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Socioeconomic Factors , Transients and Migrants
7.
Am J Public Health ; 111(11): 1947-1949, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613421
8.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260726, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546966

ABSTRACT

Mental health disorders represent an enormous cost to society, are related to economic outcomes, and have increased markedly since the COVID-19 outbreak. Economic activity contracted dramatically on a global scale in 2020, representing the worst crisis since the Great Depression. This study used the COVID Impact Survey to provide insights on the interactions of mental illness and economic uncertainty during COVID-19. We used a probability-based panel survey, COVID Impact Survey, conducted in the U.S. over three waves in the period April-June 2020. The survey covered individual information on employment, economic and financial uncertainty, mental and physical health, as well as other demographic information. The prevalence of moderate mental distress was measured using a Psychological Distress Scale, a 5-item scale that is scored on a 4-point scale (total range: 0-15). The mental distress effect of employment, economic, and financial uncertainty, was assessed in a logit regression analysis conditioning for demographic and health information. It is found that employment, health coverage, social security, and food provision uncertainty are additional stressors for mental health. These economic factors work in addition to demographic effects, where groups who display increased risk for psychological distress include: women, Hispanics, and those in poor physical health. A decrease in employment and increases in economic uncertainty are associated with a doubling of common mental disorders. The population-representative survey evidence presented strongly suggests that economic policies which support employment (e.g., job keeping, job search support, stimulus spending) provide not only economic security but also constitute a major health intervention. Moving forward, the economic uncertainty effect ought to be reflected in community level intervention and prevention efforts, which should include strengthening economic support to reduce financial and economic strain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Economic Recession , Mental Disorders/etiology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Employment/economics , Employment/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/economics , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Psychological Distress , Sex Factors , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , Uncertainty , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
9.
Am J Public Health ; 111(11): 1950-1959, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538296

ABSTRACT

Objectives. To determine whether unemployment and bankruptcy rates are related to increased excess deaths during the COVID-19 recession and to examine whether the current recession-based mortality rate not only is dependent on COVID-19 but also continues the pattern of recessions, especially the Great Recession, in relation to chronic disease mortality rates and mental health disturbances (e.g., including suicide) from 2000 to 2018. Methods. This study used pooled cross-sectional time series analysis to determine the impact of unemployment and bankruptcy rates on excess deaths from February to November 2020 for US states. The study used a second pooled cross-sectional time series analysis to determine whether the COVID-19‒ era recessional mortality continues the impact of prepandemic recessions (2000-2018) on multiple causes of mortality. Results. Ten percent unemployment was associated with approximately 48[thin space]149 excess deaths, while, jointly with bankruptcies, their combined effect produced 35 700 and 144 483 excess deaths, for unemployment and bankruptcies, respectively. These health-damaging COVID-19‒recessional findings suggest a reiteration of the significantly increased major cause‒specific mortality during 2000 to 2018, mitigated by the size of the health care workforce. Conclusions. Minimization of deaths attributable to the COVID-19 recession requires ample funding for the unemployed and underemployed, especially Black and Hispanic communities, along with significant investments in the health workforce. (Am J Public Health. 2021;111(11):1950-1959. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306490).


Subject(s)
Bankruptcy/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Cause of Death , Economic Recession , Mortality/trends , Unemployment/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Suicide/psychology , United States
10.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 106(1): 21-24, 2021 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512903

ABSTRACT

Afghanistan, a country challenged by war and conflicts, has been in a state of turmoil for several years. The prolonged suffering has brought many challenges to the country's inhabitants. Among these, food security is one important cause for concern. Food security occurs when people continuously have physical and economic access to adequate, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary requirements and food preferences for a functional and healthy life. Amid the pandemic, Afghanistan has witnessed a large increase in food shortages due to its dependence on neighboring countries. In light of current circumstances, food insecurity, coupled with political instability and the third wave of the COVID-19, have made it extremely hard for people to access daily provisions. Hence, people are left to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic with economic recession and poverty as the backdrop of the other health crises. To mitigate food security, international attempts are the required at this critical juncture. The aim of this article is to understand the causes leading to food insecurity and its implications in Afghanistan and to propose solutions that will improve the overall food security at the policy and implementation levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Economic Recession , Food Security , Afghanistan , Armed Conflicts/economics , Food Assistance , Food Security/economics , Humans , Socioeconomic Factors , Unemployment , United Nations
11.
Am J Emerg Med ; 51: 342-347, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499591

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the declaration of the novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, frontline healthcare workers (HCWs) and staff in the Emergency Departments (ED) started experiencing feelings of anxiety and fear from the projected exponential spread and the potential burden on the healthcare system and infrastructure. In Lebanon, major local factors contributing to this fear were the rapid escalation of COVID-19 cases across the country, the lack of preparedness, and the shortage of personal protective equipment, in addition to the evolving economic crisis and financial restrictions. This study aims to investigate the immediate psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on ED staff working in a hospital environment in relation to their household income. METHODS: Self-reported cross-sectional survey was delivered to the frontline staff working at the Department of Emergency Medicine of AUBMC in Beirut, Lebanon. General demographic characteristics, scores of Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 (GAD-7), scores of Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9), and scores of Burnout Measure-Short (BMS) version were collected. RESULTS: 74 HCWs (49.6%) participated in the study. The mean age for participants was (31.78 ± 9.49). More than half of the participants were nurses and more than 70% reported a monthly salary of less than 2000 USD. The household income was negatively associated with the participants' scores on the GAD-7 and PHQ-9, but not the BMS. Previous mental health diagnosis was positively associated with the PHQ-9 and BMS scores, while seeking mental health care was negatively associated with the PHQ-9 and BMS scores. CONCLUSION: At our tertiary care center in a low-income, low resource country amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the HCWs reported marked psychological disturbances on different scales. In particular, the financial burden was associated with increased anxiety and clinical depression, but was not associated with burnout.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Economic Recession , Health Personnel/psychology , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital , Fear , Female , Humans , Lebanon , Male , Medical Staff, Hospital/psychology , Middle Aged , Nurses/psychology , Pandemics , Self Report , Tertiary Care Centers , Young Adult
15.
Acta Biomed ; 92(S6): e2021417, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472547

ABSTRACT

Suicide risk and resilience strategies during the different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic are of great interest to researchers. At the pandemic onset, a dramatic suicides exacerbation was feared. Some authoritative authors warned the scientific and clinical community about this risk by pointing out that especially psychiatric, psychological, and social factors could interact with each other to create a vicious cycle. While worldwide case-reports and studies conducted at emergency departments did indeed find an increase in suicidal behavior, recent systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and time-series analyses could not confirm this for the first COVID-19 wave. Instead, it appears that the increased suicide risk outlasted the acute phase of the pandemic and thus affected people more during the pandemic following phases. One possible reason for this phenomenon may be a persistent state of insecurity regarding the economic crisis evolution with serious financial stressors in terms of income decrease, unemployment, repaying debts difficulty, home loss, one's social status derive, social hierarchy drop, and poverty. During the COVID-19 first wave, with particular regard to vulnerable populations, one of the postulated theories unifying different risk factors under a single frame was the "Interpersonal Theory of Suicide". Conversely, the "Interpersonal Trust" theory emerged as a protective factor even during an economic crisis. In a possible mirroring of the two theories, it seems to be feasible to find common themes between them and, above all, to gain relevant insights to devise effective prevention and supportive strategies for dealing with suicide risk challenges that COVID-19 will continue to pose in the foreseeable future. (www.actabiomedica.it).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Economic Recession , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Trust
16.
Econ Hum Biol ; 43: 101070, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466287

ABSTRACT

We investigate how the decline in home prices over the Great Recession in the U.S. impacted drinking behavior. We match data on actual and shadow home prices (from Zillow Research) to individuals' drinking behavior from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) by county of residence and year/month of the interview. We improve upon the existing literature by using new measures of exogenous macroeconomic shocks captured by fluctuations in home prices and finding heterogeneous impacts of the downturn based on homeownership. We find that decline in home prices is commonly associated with increases in alcohol consumption, both on extensive and intensive margins. Additionally, we find that the effects are more consistent among homeowners compared to renters. Given that alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. and that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an economic crisis in many societies, the results have important public health implications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Housing , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System , Economic Recession , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
17.
Adv Mar Biol ; 89: 79-114, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1414468

ABSTRACT

It is axomatic that a system cannot be managed unless it is measured and that the measurements occur in a rigorous, defendable manner covering relevant spatial and temporal scales. Furthermore, it is not possible to predict the future direction of a system unless any predictive approach or model is supported by empirical evidence from monitoring. The marine system is no different from any other system in these regards. This review indicates the nature and topics of marine monitoring, its constraints in times of economic austerity, the sequence of topics subject to monitoring and the amount of monitoring of various topics carried out as indicated by the number of publications and researchers. We discuss the way in which the nature of monitoring is decided and we use examples to comment on the way monitoring leads to and responds to marine management and governance.


Subject(s)
Environmental Monitoring , Plastics , Economic Recession , Pandemics
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