UVM researchers find declining health in Vermont during pandemic

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 5:11 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - New research out from the University of Vermont and the University of Maine found declining health in both states during the pandemic.

Researchers surveyed nearly 1,000 adults in 2021. Among their findings:

  • Nearly half reported anxiety or depression in the pandemic.
  • About 40% reported weight gain.
  • And 29% reported food insecurity.

Researchers said what was most surprising when looking at the findings from both states was how many people were stopping medications for anxiety, depression, obesity and other health conditions, something they say can lead to serious health consequences.

“If individuals are not taking their medication that infers that they are probably not having their depression and anxiety well controlled, or at a point where they can deal with some of the decisions that they make for preventative health and for healthy lifestyle,” said Jennifer Laurent, a researcher at UVM.

Researchers also say they’re concerned about what happens down the line and the possibility of developing chronic health conditions like hypertension, diabetes or more. That can take anywhere from three to 10 years.

Watch the video to see our Cat Viglienzoni’s full interview with Jennifer Laurent.

Click here for more on the research.

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