This study aimed to estimate the association between anxiety associated with COVID-19 and somatic symptoms, using data from a large, representative sample (N = 2,025) of the UK adult population. Results showed that moderate to high levels of anxiety associated with COVID-19 were significantly associated with general somatic symptoms and in particular with gastrointestinal and fatigue symptoms. This pattern of associations remained significant after controlling for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), pre-existing health problems, age, gender, and income. This is the first evidence that anxiety associated with COVID-19 makes a unique contribution to somatization, above and beyond the effect of GAD.
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; COVID-19 related anxiety; somatic symptoms.
© 2020 The Authors. British Journal of Health Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Psychological Society.