1 in 5 Covid-19 patients diagnosed with mental illness within three months of testing positive: Study

Sun Online Desk

12th November, 2020 12:23:56 printer

1 in 5 Covid-19 patients diagnosed with mental illness within three months of testing positive: Study

In another worrying set of findings for the long-term impact of Covid-19, a new peer reviewed  study has confirmed reported links between psychiatric illness and Covid-19, with nearly one in five Covid-19 patients developing a mental illness within three months of testing positive for the virus and those with pre-existing mental conditions being 65% more likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19, even accounting for other risk factors.

In another worrying set of findings for the long-term impact of Covid-19, a new peer reviewed  study has confirmed reported links between psychiatric illness and Covid-19, with nearly one in five Covid-19 patients developing a mental illness within three months of testing positive for the virus and those with pre-existing mental conditions being 65% more likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19, even accounting for other risk factors.

By examining the health records of 69 million people in the US, including over 62,000 Covid-19 patients, researchers from the University of Oxford and NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre found evidence that Covid-19 increases a person’s risk of developing psychiatric illness, with one in five receiving a diagnosis within three months of testing positive.

1. Covid-19 patients were compared to those with other medical issues — including those with other respiratory infections, bone fractures, flu and skin infections — over time to ensure any changes in psychiatric diagnoses could be linked with the infection.

2. Not all mental illnesses were more likely to be seen in Covid-19 patients, the researchers said, with rates of anxiety, depression and insomnia most elevated.

3. The researchers said they found no clear signs of  newly diagnosed psychotic disorders in Covid-19 patients, which includes schizophrenia, though they did note the higher likelihood of relapse in patients already living with the conditions.

4. There was also an “unexpected” finding in the research, indicating that those with a pre-existing psychiatric illness are 65% more likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19, even when other factors are accounted for, Forbs reported.

Dr. Max Taquet, one of the researchers, said the unexpected finding “needs investigation,” recommending that having a psychiatric disorder should “be added to the list of risk factors for Covid-19.”

 


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