Brain and Mind Institute; Population Health (East Africa)
Background: The current covid-19 economic crisis continues to weaken economic growth in South Africa. This study was designed to show how a declining economic state affects the mental health conditions, metabolic risk factors, communicable conditions, and non-communicable conditions of adolescent (18-year cohorts) and adult (25-year cohorts) population groups comparatively.
Study design: This was a panel analysis using secondary data issued by Statistic South Africa.
Methods: The author used a Two-stage Least Squared Model (2SLS) to quantify the impact of the declining economy on mental health conditions (depression and traumatic stress), non-communicable conditions (cancer and diabetes), metabolic risk factors (alcohol abuse and hypertension), and communicable conditions (influenza, diarrhea, dry cough) of both adolescent and young adult population groups. Each group comprised a treatment and a control group.
Results: The declining economic state of 2008–2014 worsens the mental health conditions, metabolic risk factors, and non-communicable conditions of adolescent and young adult populations. However, the declining economy reduced cases of communicable conditions. The impact of the declining economy worsens mental health conditions, metabolic risk factors, and non-communicable conditions more in urban settings than in rural regions. Men abuse alcohol more than women during economic decline, triggering worsening mental health conditions, hypertension, and non-communicable conditions, especially in the adult population residing in urban settings.
Conclusions: Economic decline worsen mental health conditions, metabolic risk factors, and non-communicable conditions. The South African government may want to prioritize these conditions as covid-19 economic shocks continue to backslide economic growth.
Publication ( Name of Journal)
SSM - Population Health
(2023). Macroeconomics and health: Understanding the impact of a declining economy on health outcomes of children and young adults in South Africa. SSM - Population Health, 22, 1-12.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/bmi/403
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