People with anxiety and depression are more likely than people without mental health issues to report increased alcohol use during the pandemic, according to a new study.
Researchers at NYU found that while drinking increased the most among younger people, older adults with anxiety and depression had a greater increase in their risk for harmful alcohol use.
“We expected that younger people and those with mental health issues would report drinking as a coping mechanism, but this is the first time we’re learning that mental health is associated with differences in alcohol use by age,” study author Yesim Tozan said in a university news release.
The online survey included more than 5,800 respondents who said they drink, HealthDay reports. Overall, 29% said they were drinking more during the pandemic, while almost 20% said they were drinking less and 51% said they were drinking the same amount as before. People with depression were 64% more likely to drink more, while those with anxiety were 41% more likely to do so.