COVID-19 related to higher rates of mental illness, study finds

By | November 10, 2020

A new study suggests a link between COVID-19 and mental illness.

The study, published in the British medical journal Lancet and written by psychiatrists from Oxford University and the global health research network TriNetX, examined over 44,000 people who had a diagnosis of COVID-19 and found that 18.1% were later diagnosed with a psychiatric illness such as a mood disorder, anxiety disorder, insomnia, or dementia.

Nearly 6% of those who were diagnosed with COVID-19 were diagnosed with a mental health condition for the first time. Only 2.5%-3.4% of those not diagnosed with COVID-19 were later diagnosed with a psychiatric illness for the first time.

In addition, there was a 65% increased risk of contracting COVID-19 for people who had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder in the year prior to the pandemic. The authors speculated that may be due to socioeconomic factors to behavioral factors such as less willingness to social distance, or the psychotropic medication such patients take. It may also be related to the bodily inflammation that is sometimes associated with psychiatric disorders.


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