Covid-19, a long-term threat to women's physical and mental health

Worldwide, more than 50 million people have contracted Covid-19. But the health cost to women goes far beyond the virus itself. AXA and Ipsos today reveal the results of a second study conducted among women on the impact of Covid-19.

The author(s)

  • Amandine Lama Public Affairs, France
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The first study, published in October, focused on the economic impact of the pandemic. This second part is devoted to women's health, to the immediate impact of the health crisis on their physical and mental well-being but also to its longer-term effects.

Women's physical and mental health has suffered. They have struggled to access adequate health care; women with chronic illnesses - such as cancer or diabetes - have fallen behind in their treatment. And it is women living alone or on low incomes who have proved to be the most vulnerable (...), according to report produced by AXA "Hidden costs".

Key elements:

  • Overall, women's health has deteriorated during the crisis - the biggest deterioration has been in Europe, where the pandemic has hit hardest. All aspects of women's health have been affected: physical, mental and social. More than two out of three women feel anxious or worried; more than half report sleep disturbances.
  • During the crisis, many women had difficulty accessing health care - for financial reasons, lack of availability or fear of contracting the virus.
  • Among women with chronic illnesses, 60% had to postpone their treatment. 40% were unable to see their doctor for regular follow-up visits. Lack of access to routine health care could have long-term consequences on women's health.
  • Women are putting the health of others ahead of their own more than before the pandemic. Despite this, the women interviewed also found more time to take care of themselves by making the effort, for example, to cook healthier meals for themselves and their families.
  • With the pandemic far from over, women feel more vulnerable to threats to their health. More than half fear isolation or deterioration of their mental health. To help them manage these risks, women expect faster and easier access to health care for themselves and other family members in the future.
Survey conducted by Ipsos for AXA in 8 countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Mexico, Nigeria and Thailand) among 8,000 women representing a representative sample of the female population aged 18 and over (except in Thailand, 18-55 years old).

The author(s)

  • Amandine Lama Public Affairs, France

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