In the second Corona year 2021, according to a study by the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit in Brandenburg, a comparatively large number of girls between the ages of 15 and 17 are newly ill with depression. The number of new treatments among teenage girls in this age group increased by 12 percent to 32 cases per 1,000 insured persons compared to the pre-Corona year 2019, the DAK Brandenburg announced. The number of newly diagnosed anxiety disorders among teenage girls also increased by 14 percent to 31 cases per 1000 insured compared to 2019, it said.
In contrast, among boys of the same age, the rate of new cases of depression reportedly fell by 17 percent to about 10 cases per 1,000 insured. For anxiety disorders, it dropped to 8 cases. "The results of our children and youth report show that adolescent girls suffer particularly in the pandemic," said Anke Grubitz, head of DAK Health Brandenburg.
The results also showed that boys and girls dealt with stress differently. "We know from other studies that girls find it easier to open up and talk about their problems," Grubitz explained. "Boys tend to repress them and take refuge in media consumption, for example." Experts therefore also expected rising numbers of mental illnesses and behavioral disorders among male teenagers in the medium term.
The DAK's "Children and Adolescents Report" is reportedly based on billing data from around 41,000 children and adolescents aged up to 17 who are insured with DAK-Gesundheit in Brandenburg. Accordingly, the years 2018 to 2021 were analyzed. The report is thus based on data from over ten percent of all children and adolescents in the state and is representative in terms of age and gender distribution.
According to the DAK data, there was a decline in new obesity cases across all age groups and genders in Brandenburg in 2021. In contrast, among boys of elementary school age between five and nine years, the number of newly diagnosed cases of obesity increased by 14 percent to 18 per 1,000 insured persons. Among elementary school-aged girls, however, that rate dropped by eight percent to 17 cases, he said.
Image by Sasin Tipchai