COVID survivors at higher risk for mental health problems, study finds



New Delhi: According to a large study published in the scientific journal The Lancet Psychiatry, one in three people who have survived Covid-19 have been diagnosed with anxiety and mood disorders, within six months of infection.Also Read – Latest International Travel News: Indian Tourists Can Visit These Countries Without Restrictions | Full list here

For the study, researchers at the University of Oxford in the UK looked at 14 neurological and mental health disorders in 2,36,379 Covid-19 patients, mostly from the United States. Also Read – Maharashtra School Reopening News: Primary Section Classes May Resume After Diwali As State Prepares SOPs

The results showed that 34 percent had been diagnosed with a neurological or psychiatric illness within six months of infection. The most common disorders were anxiety (17%) and mood disorders (14%). Also Read – Shop Online, Avoid Travel: Center Issues COVID Advisory to States Ahead of Festivals

Neurologic diagnoses such as stroke and dementia were rarer, but among those admitted to intensive care, 7 percent had a stroke and nearly 2 percent were diagnosed with dementia.

“This is real world data from a large number of patients. They confirm the high rates of psychiatric diagnoses after Covid-19 and show that serious disorders affecting the nervous system (such as stroke and dementia) also occur. Although the latter are much rarer, they are important, especially in those who have had severe Covid-19, ”said lead author Paul Harrison, professor at the University of Oxford.

“While the individual risks for most disorders are low, the effect on the general population may be substantial for health and social care systems due to the scale of the pandemic and the fact that good many of these conditions are chronic.

“As a result, health care systems must be resourced to meet anticipated needs, both within primary and secondary care services,” Harrkson said.

The study also found a 44% higher risk of neurological and mental health diagnoses after Covid-19 than after the flu, and a 16% higher risk after Covid-19 than with respiratory tract infections.

This shows that Covid-19 carries a higher risk of neurological and psychiatric disorders than these other health problems, the researchers said. However, there was no clear evidence that Covid-19 led to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease or Guillain-Barré syndrome.

“Our results indicate that brain disease and psychiatric disorders are more common after Covid-19 than after influenza or other respiratory infections, even when patients are matched for other risk factors. Now we have to see what happens beyond six months, ”said co-author Max Taquet, University of Oxford.

(With IANS entries)


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