1 in 3 COVID Survivors Have Ongoing Mental Health Issues

WEDNESDAY, April 7, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Doctors are seeing such cases around the world: About a third of patients with COVID-19 develop ‘long-term’ neurological or psychiatric conditions months after being infected, according to news research .

The results suggest a link between COVID-19 and a higher risk of subsequent mental and neurological disorders, the researchers report.

The new analysis of data from more than 236,000 COVID-19 survivors focused on 14 neurological and mental health disorders. It found that 34% of patients were diagnosed with such disorders within six months of infection with the novel coronavirus.

Most commonly, these disorders ranged from anxiety disorders to substance abuse disorders, insomnia, cerebral hemorrhage, stroke and (much more rarely) dementia.

For 13% of these patients, it was their first diagnosis.

“Unfortunately, many of the disorders identified in this study tend to be chronic or recurring, so we can expect the impact of COVID-19 to be with us for many years to come,” wrote Jonathan Rogers, of the University College London, in an editorial. accompanying the new study. Both were published on April 6 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

An American expert who was not part of the study agreed.

“Services and resources will need to be allocated for this care,” said Dr. Andrew Rogove, medical director of stroke services at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, NY.

The new study was led by Paul Harrison of the University of Oxford in England. His team looked at electronic health records to track the results of 236,379 patients with COVID-19, mostly from the United States.

About a third have had some sort of neurological or mental health problem within six months of their coronavirus infection. Anxiety (17%), mood disorders (14%), substance abuse disorders (7%) and insomnia (5%) were the most frequently diagnosed disorders, according to the team.

Overall rates of neurological problems were much lower, including 0.6% for cerebral hemorrhage, 2.1% for ischemic strokes and 0.7% for dementia.

Neurological conditions were more common in patients who had been seriously ill with COVID-19. For example, among patients admitted to intensive care, 7% had a stroke and almost 2% were diagnosed with dementia, Harrison’s group reported.

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