COVID-19-related Unemployment May Increase Prevalence of Longstanding Illnesses

Pavankumar Kamat

October 12, 2020

According to a new report from Public Health Wales (PHW), the number of individuals with longstanding illnesses is likely to increase in concordance with growing unemployment following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on an estimated increase in unemployment in Wales from 3.8 per cent in 2019 to ~7 per cent in 2020, the proportion of the individuals with longstanding illnesses could grow from 46.4 per cent before the pandemic to 50.3 per cent during 2022-2023. The percentage of adults living with limiting longstanding illnesses could increase from 18.1 per cent before the pandemic to 24.4 per cent during 2022-2023.

The prevalence of endocrine and metabolic disorders could increase from 7.9 per cent before the pandemic to 10.9 per cent during 2022-2023, and that of mental health problems from 8.8 per cent before the pandemic to 11.9 per cent during 2022-2023.

According to Rajendra Kadel, the report's lead author, an additional 900,000 working-age individuals in the UK could develop chronic health conditions as a result of reduced employment.

Dr Mariana Dyakova from PHW said: "We hope the findings of this report will be used to inform decision-making for the Coronavirus response and recovery, and to mitigate the harmful impacts of unemployment on the health of individuals and communities."

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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