People with mental disorders at high risk of dying from Covid-19: study

People with severe mental disorders are at high risk of dying from Covid-19, according to the study conducted by researchers at Umeå University and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

Among the elderly, the proportion of deaths from Covid-19 was almost quadruple for people with severe mental disorders compared to people without a mental disorder of the same age.

Martin Maripuu, associate professor at Umeå University, said: “We are seeing a high excess mortality from Covid-19 in older people with severe mental disorders, which gives us reason to question whether this group should be a priority for vaccines. ”

The researchers analyzed the entire Swedish population over the age of 20 during the period March 11 to June 15, 2020.

Among citizens with severe mental disorders, 130 people died from Covid-19 during this period, which corresponded to 0.1% of the group. Among those who had not been diagnosed with a serious mental disorder, the death rate was almost halved, 0.06%.

Importantly, after the age of 60, people with severe mental disorders had higher excess mortality than those without a diagnosed mental disorder of the same age, the researchers wrote.

In the 60-79 age group, deaths from Covid-19 were almost four times more common in people with severe mental disorders.

These disorders include patients with psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The study did not include depression or anxiety in the term, although the researchers mentioned that these conditions can be serious as well.

“It is possible that severe mental disorders lead to premature biological aging, that the disease affects health and the immune system in general, or that this group has other risk factors such as obesity. It is always important to treat both the mental and physical health issues of people with these disorders, ”added Maripuu.

In total, nearly eight million people were included in the study.


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