COVID-19 pandemic could cause increase in prevalence of PTSD, says GlobalData

A significant increase in the total prevalence of PTSD is expected globally amid the COVID-19 pandemic – with the risk for women being twice as high as men, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Epidemiology Forecast to 2028’, notes that the 12-month total prevalence of PTSD in the 7MM ranges from 0.11–3.16% for men and 0.21–5.87% for women. This corresponds to more than 17.3 million people. The US saw the highest 12-month total prevalence of PTSD among men and women in the 7MM at 3.16% and 5.87%, respectively. Among the 5EU markets, France had the highest with 2.35% and 5.71%, respectively.

Arunkumar NV, Epidemiologist at GlobalData, comments: “GlobalData expects that the COVID-19 pandemic may cause even higher prevalence of PTSD in severely affected areas where the population is at high risk of COVID-19 infection and significant changes to daily living occurred. Considering the global and long-term effects of COVID-19, the psychological impact of the virus will be seen across many regions of the world.

“Although the mandatory quarantine for COVID-19 patients and social distancing practices are the best preventive measure to be taken, consequences of this strict isolation coupled with the anxiety associated with the illness is of important concern. As the pandemic continues, clinical and policy strategies are needed to identify and support the vulnerable groups susceptible to psychological distress. Early psychological interventions targeting this vulnerable group may be beneficial.”