Changes in Brazilians' socioeconomic and health conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Rev Bras Epidemiol. 2021 Jan 6;23:e200105. doi: 10.1590/1980-549720200105. eCollection 2021.


OBJECTIVE: To describe changes in socioeconomic and health conditions of Brazilians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

METHODOLOGY: Cross-sectional study with data from a web-based behavioral survey carried out from April 24 to May 24, 2020, with 45,161 participants recruited by the chain sampling method. A descriptive analysis of the survey topics was performed: adherence to social restriction measures, diagnosis of the new coronavirus, work situation and income, difficulties in routine activities, presence of comorbidities, psychological issues, and access to health services. Prevalence and respective 95% confidence intervals were estimated.

RESULTS: Approximately 74% of Brazilians adhered to social restrictions. As for flu symptoms, 28.1% reported having at least one flu symptom, but only 5.9% underwent testing for COVID-19. Regarding the socioeconomic impact, 55.1% reported a decrease in family income, and 7.0% were left without any income; 25.8% of the people lost their jobs, with the group of informal workers being the most affected (50.6%). As for health conditions, 29.4% reported worsening of health status; 45%, having sleep problems; 40% frequently presented feelings of sadness, and 52.5%, of anxiety; 21.7% sought health care, and, among them, 13.9% did not get care.

CONCLUSION: The findings show the importance of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil, to mitigate the adverse effects on the socioeconomic and health conditions related to social restriction measures.

PMID:33439938 | DOI:10.1590/1980-549720200105