The economies around the world are looking forward to reopening after facing the repercussions of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the past two years. The pandemic has impacted the world immensely and now a new study tells that it is causing mental health issues among patients.
Previous studies have also indicated a similar trend, revealing that high distress and anxiety due to coronavirus has resulted in poor psychological well-being.
In the latest study published on Wednesday (February 16) in the journal The BMJ, it has been established risks of incident mental health disorders in survivors of the acute phase of Covid.
Researchers from St. Louis analysed the records of 153,848 people from the Veterans Health Administration system in the United States.
The study included only those who had no mental health diagnoses or treatment for at least two years prior to coronavirus infection.
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The latest research emphasises that the studies to date have been limited by a narrow selection of mental health outcomes and a maximum of six months follow-up.
As per the latest study, improving the understanding of the long term risk of mental health disorders in people with Covid can help guide “strategies for care during the post-acute phase”.
The study has been done after extracting data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs national healthcare databases.
From these data, researchers constructed a cohort of 153 848 US veterans who survived the first 30 days of SARS-CoV-2 infection and two control groups, which were – a contemporary group consisting of 5 637 840 users with no evidence of infection and a historical control (predating the Covid pandemic) consisting of 5 859 251 users during 2017.
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The results showed that those with COVID-19 were 39 per cent more likely to have depressive disorders and 35 per cent more likely to show an increased risk of incident anxiety disorders over the months after infection.
As per the study, the group with Covid was also 38 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with stress and adjustment disorders. They were also 41 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with sleep disorders.
The study also highlighted that the COVID-19 patients were 80 per cent more likely to develop neurocognitive problems.
It was also found that 18 per cent of COVID-19 patients received a diagnosis or prescription for a neuropsychiatric issue in the following year.
The findings suggest that people who survive the acute phase of Covid are at increased risk of an array of incident mental health disorders. The study suggested that tackling mental health disorders among survivors of Covid should be a priority.
The authors wrote, “The risk of incident mental health disorders was consistently higher in the COVID-19 group in comparisons of people with covid-19 not admitted to hospital versus those not admitted to hospital for seasonal influenza, admitted to hospital with covid-19 versus admitted to hospital with seasonal influenza, and admitted to hospital with covid-19 versus admitted to hospital for any other cause.”