Covid-19 patients at greater risk of mental disorders, find study

Covid-19 patients at greater risk of mental disorders, find study
LONDON: Patients are estimated to be 44 percent more at risk of neurological and mental health diagnoses after Covid-19 than after influenza, and a 16 percent greater risk than other respiratory infections, the largest study of its kind by the University of Oxford revealed Wednesday.
Overall, the estimated incidence of a diagnosis of a neurological or mental disorder after a Covid-19 infection was 34 percent, and for 13 percent of these people, it was their first recorded neurological or psychiatric diagnosis.
The most common diagnoses after Covid-19 were anxiety disorders (occurring in 17 percent of patients), mood disorders (14 percent), substance abuse disorders (7 percent), and insomnia (5 percent). The incidence of neurological outcomes was lower, including 0.6 percent for cerebral hemorrhage, 2.1 percent for ischemic stroke and 0.7 percent for dementia.
“These are real-world data from a large number of patients. They confirm the high percentage of psychiatric diagnoses after Covid-19 and show that there are also serious disorders of the nervous system (such as stroke and dementia). While the latter are much rarer, they are significant, especially in those who had severe Covid-19, ”said Professor Paul Harrison, lead author of the study, from the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University.
“While the individual risks are small for most conditions, the impact across the population could be significant on health and social care systems due to the scale of the pandemic and the fact that many of these conditions are chronic. As a result, healthcare systems need resources to meet anticipated needs, both within primary and secondary care, ”he said.
This latest study analyzed data from the electronic health records of 236,379 Covid-19 patients of the US TriNetX network, which includes more than 81 million people.
This group was compared with 105,579 patients with a diagnosis of influenza and 236,038 patients with a respiratory tract infection (including influenza).
"Our results indicate that brain 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," Dr. Max Taquet, a co-author of the Oxford University study.
“We now have to see what happens after six months. The study cannot reveal the mechanisms involved, but does indicate the need for urgent research to identify them with a view to preventing or treating them, ”he said.
Their peer-reviewed paper, published in Lancet Psychiatry, was funded by the Oxford Health Biomedical Research Center at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

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