Nearly one third of long Covid sufferers have recently experienced depression, research suggests, as an MP warned that the shadow cast by the condition is "worse than feared".
Some 6.2 per cent of adults said they may have experienced long Covid when polled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) between April 7 and June 13. Of these, 30 per cent reported experiencing moderate to severe depressive symptoms in the last two weeks.
They were also almost twice as likely to have experienced depression than those who do not think they have ever contracted Covid (16 per cent).
Twenty-five per cent were likely to have some form of anxiety, compared with 15 per cent of people not believed to have been hit by the virus.
However, the ONS said it was not possible to infer cause and effect relationships from the results, warning that associations could be the result of other factors such as age, sex, disability status or deprivation level.
Layla Moran MP, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on Covid, said: "These striking figures highlight the immense impact long Covid is having on people’s day-to-day lives, and the total inadequacy of the Government’s response so far.
"From people’s mental health to their household finances, the shadow cast by long Covid over our society is even worse than feared."
The ONS pooled 10 waves of data on 39,268 respondents aged 16 years and over in Great Britain. It found people who may have had long Covid were also more likely to say that their well-being, work and household finances had been affected.
The total proportion of those who may have had long Covid was split into 3.6 per cent who said they had experienced long Covid, and 2.6 per cent who said they were unsure. Women, disabled adults, those aged between 30 and 49 and those living in the most deprived parts of England were more likely to say they may have had long Covid.
Some 57 per cent of adults who may have had long Covid said this had negatively affected their well-being, while 39 per cent said their ability to exercise had been affected.