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Background: The novel coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) has become a pandemic affecting health and wellbeing worldwide. In addition to the physical health, economic, and social implications, the psychological impacts of this pandemic are increasingly being reported in the scientific literature. Individuals with certain pre-existing comorbidities have been identified as a high-risk group for fatalities of COVID-19 infection. Thus, this study aimed to analyze the association of COVID-19 symptoms and the presence of comorbidities with the mental health of the population during this pandemic.
Method: A cross-sectional web-based online study was conducted from 13thJune to 31stJuly 2020 and link was circulated using social media platforms. Participants were of age ≥18 and residents of India were included. HERO’s scale was used to assess the mental health status. A multivariate logistic regression was performed to examine associations.
Results: Out of 1021 eligible individuals (460-females, 561-males), 15.2% females and 11.2% males reported poor mental health status. The COVID-19 symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, fever, and sore throat were associated with poor mental health among males, while only nausea, vomiting was associated among females. Also, the presence of any one or more comorbidities was associated with poor mental health across gender.
Conclusion: Poor mental health was reported by both genders across the study population. Comorbidities and COVID-19 symptoms were significantly associated with poor mental health among males than females. These findings strongly support the need for an infrastructure to comprehend the gender-specific mental well-being as a core component of health across all the sections of Indian society.
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