Recent studies show that people who had COVID-19 could have an elevated chance of being diagnosed with psychological issues such as anxiety or depression.
Between January 20 and August 1, researchers looked at the medical history of 69 million individuals in the United States. As part of what the authors defined as the biggest research thus far on ties between coronavirus and mental health issues, the data included 62,000 individuals who contracted COVID-19.
Nearly one in five survivors (18 percent) had a clinical condition in three months after testing positive for Covid-19. This is almost twice as common as for other classes of patients with multiple disorders and conditions studied during the same duration as part of the analysis.
In Covid-19 survivors, researchers from the University of Oxford associated clinical diagnoses with patients that had pneumonia, other diseases of the respiratory tract, skin infections, large bone breaks, gallstones, and kidney stones.
"The study reports that patients have a somewhat higher risk of being diagnosed with a psychiatric illness, mainly anxiety or depression, after a COVID-19 diagnosis than after certain other medical events," said David Curtis, retired consultant psychiatrist and honorary professor at University College London and Queen Mary University of London.
"For example, they show that there is an 18% chance of getting a psychiatric diagnosis after Covid-19 compared with 13% after influenza," Curtis, who wasn't involved in the research, told the Science Media Centre in London.
According to Curtis, the relevance of these observations is difficult to judge. He added that such psychological diagnoses are very often made while patients are together with doctors. This phenomenon unsurprisingly occurs a little more frequently with individuals with Covid-19, Curtis added. He noted that Some of the patients might have been reasonably concerned that they might be seriously unwell and may have had to experience a time of loneliness as well.
The research, reported on Monday in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, did not look at the causes or mechanisms that might clarify the association between the Covid-19 contract and a clinical diagnosis.
The study author Paul Harrison, a psychiatry professor at the University of Oxford and Warneford Hospital, said that many causes could be clarified. These include a direct neurological or biological impact of the infection, the medications used to cure it, the worry and fear induced by catching the disease, and broader concerns about the pandemic.
It is also likely that the details gathered by the TriNetX Analytics Network in the electronic medical records did not accurately capture socioeconomic or behavioral variables that could clarify the correlation.
Need For Long-Term Data
Around 5.8 percent of survivors in the sample received their first reported diagnosis of mental disease in the time between 14 and 90 days following a Covid-19 diagnosis, compared with 2.5 percent to 3.4 percent of patients in the reference classes. Thus, following a Covid-19 evaluation, adults have a nearly doubled chance of being freshly diagnosed with a mental illness, the report stated.
The analysis also showed that developing a mental illness in the previous year was associated with an improved risk of receiving Covid-19. This vulnerability was independent of Covid-19's established risk factors for physical wellbeing, such as obesity, but could be clarified by potential socioeconomic factors.
The researchers did not include mental well-being problems such as delirium or other temporary neurological impairments within the first two weeks. Other reports also have shown that in hospitalized patients with coronavirus, agitation and anxiety can be "expected."
Medical experts said that there were drawbacks to the report. The follow-up duration was just 90 days.
Jo Daniels, a senior lecturer in clinical psychology at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, told the SMC that this research might not have long-term data. According to Daniels, this research does not forecast psychological effects at one year follow-up and can not allow for troubling post-covid physical signs that could be distressing.
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