Family Healthcast: Stress of COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affecting women

Family Healthcast

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Even if you’re physically healthy right now, chances are your mental health is suffering because of COVID-19. A new study conducted in countries around the globe finds rampant anxiety, worry and overall emotional fatigue. And in many cases, the most vulnerable group is women.

The study, surveyed 10,000 women and men in 38 countries including the U.S., and it found women are almost three times as likely as men to report suffering from significant mental health consequences, including anxiety, loss of appetite, inability to sleep and trouble completing everyday tasks.

Many of the stressors were economic.

In the U.S., for example, from February to May, 11.5 million women were laid off compared to 9 million men. Far more of the women’s jobs were low paying. 

At home, women take on the physical and emotional burden. In the U.S., 55% of employed women do housework compared to just 18% of men, and women tend to spend twice the amount of time with their children than men do. 

That burden is heavier now with schools closed, keeping kids focused and checking their assignments falls disproportionately on women.

The stress is also leading to hair loss. Unrelated to the study, Doctors are reporting many more patients shedding large amounts of hair, a phenomenon they believe is indeed related to the coronavirus pandemic, affecting both people who had the virus and those who never became sick.


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