New Danish study suggests COVID-19's "second wave" struck men's mental health worse than women

Istock Covid Depressed Guy 01262021

(DENMARK) — While the global COVID-19 pandemic has been proven to have taken a toll on our mental health, a new study out of Demark shows as the pandemic drags on, men have been more negatively affected. 

The study from the Department of Affective Disorders at Aarhus University Hospital, showed that while women’s mental health suffered more compared to men when the pandemic began, the so-called “second wave” of the virus had more negative mental effects on men.

“We see that men’s psychological well-being is lower in the November-December measurement than it was during the spring lockdown, while the trend has gone in the opposite direction for women,” noted study author Søren Dinesen Østergaard in a media release.

Østergaard, a professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine, has been tracking the mental health of Danes in three phases: first, when the pandemic began last spring; the second, in April, when COVID cases in Denmark began to drop, and a third, at the end of 2020, as the pandemic continued.

Østergaard’s study, published in Acta Neuropsychiatrica, also noted that winter — when depression rates usually climb — could be a factor. The economy could also be to blame for his gender-skewed findings.

“The job market has been negatively affected by the pandemic, especially the private sector, which occupies more men than women,” Østergaard says, “so perhaps it is a question of men worrying more about their employment prospects and their family’s economic situation than women.” 

He adds, “This is something we will try to address in the next round of the survey.”

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