Covid +ve has 25% more risk of mental disorders in 4 months
People infected with Covid-19 had about a 25% increased risk of developing a psychiatric disorder within four months of being infected, compared to those who had other types of respiratory tract infections, a study has found.
In their study, published in the journal World Psychiatry, researchers from Oregon State University (OSU) in the United States found that patients with Covid-19 had about a 25% increased risk of developing a psychiatric disorder. within four months of their infection, compared with people who had other types of respiratory tract infections.
The finding, published in the journal World Psychiatry, supports previous research into psychiatric disorders in post-Covid patients, although the current study found a weaker effect than previous studies.
The study used data from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) to match 46,610 COVID-19 positive people with control patients who were diagnosed with different respiratory tract infections so they could compare how Covid -19 specifically affected the mental health of patients.
The researchers looked at the rate of psychiatric diagnoses over two time periods: 21 to 120 days after patients were diagnosed with Covid, and 120 to 365 days after diagnosis, restricted to patients with no previous mental illness. They found that patients with Covid-19 had a 3.8% rate of developing a psychiatric disorder, compared with 3.0% for other respiratory tract infections. The 0.8% difference equates to an increased relative risk of about 25%, the researchers said.
They looked specifically at anxiety disorders and mood disorders and found a small but significant increase in risk for anxiety disorders and no change in risk for mood disorders.
The large sample size and the fact that this cohort of data comes from across the United States gave researchers a unique window into post-Covid side effects, said study co-author Lauren Chan of the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
“For people who’ve had Covid, if you’re feeling anxiety, if you’re seeing changes in the way you go through life from a psychiatric perspective, it’s entirely appropriate that you ask for some help,” Chan said.
“And if you’re a care provider, you have to be proactive and start screening for those psychiatric disorders and then following those patients,” she added.
The researchers noted that not everyone who gets Covid-19 will have this type of problem, but it’s not unheard of, adding that people should seek care for themselves or others around them. .
“In the broader context of Covid and health care in the United States, any increase in the number of people seeking care, especially psychiatric care, will add further pressure to a system that is already stretched to capacity” , Chan said.