So far, no study has analyzed the overall impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the prevalence of major depressive disorders and anxiety disorders in 2020.
To reach this conclusion, a systematic review of the literature was performed to identify data from population surveys published between January 1, 2020 and January 29, 2021.
The systematic review identified 5,683 unique data sources, of which 48 (including one reported in two regions) met the inclusion criteria.
Most of the studies were from Western Europe (22) and high-income North America (14), others from Australasia (5), high-income Asia-Pacific (5), Asia from Eastern (2) and Central Europe (1).
The meta-analysis indicates that the increased rate of Covid-19 infection and reduced movement of people were associated with an increased prevalence of major depressive disorders and anxiety disorders, suggesting that the countries hardest hit by the pandemic in 2020 saw the largest increases in the prevalence of disorders.
In the absence of a pandemic, model estimates suggest that there would have been 193 million cases of major depressive disorder (2,471 cases per 100,000 population) worldwide in 2020.
However, the analysis shows that there were 246 million cases (3,153 per 100,000), an increase of 28% (53 million more cases).