Many COVID-19 survivors are probably at greater risk of developing mental illness, said psychiatrists this week, after a large study found 20% people the coronavirus are also diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder within 90 days.
Anxiety, depression and insomnia were the most common diagnoses for COVID-19 survivors in the study. Researchers at Britain's Oxford University also found significantly higher risks of dementia, reports Reuters:
The study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, analysed electronic health records of 69 million people in the United States, including more than 62,000 cases of COVID-19. The findings are likely to be the same for those afflicted by COVID-19 worldwide, the researchers said
In the three months following testing positive for COVID-19, 1 in 5 survivors were recorded as having a first time diagnosis of anxiety, depression or insomnia. This was about twice as likely as for other groups of patients in the same period, the researchers said.
The study also found that people with a pre-existing mental illness were 65% more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than those without.
Mental health specialists not directly involved with the study said its findings add to growing evidence that COVID-19 can affect the brain and mind, increasing the risk of a range of psychiatric illnesses.
More at Reuters.