Covid Boosts Risk of Psychiatric Disorders in Study

Patients with Covid-19 are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders such as anxiety or depression, according to a new study that adds to the evidence of lingering health damage.

Almost 20% of people received a psychiatric diagnosis within three months of getting Covid-19 in the study. One in five coronavirus survivors was found to have anxiety, depression, or insomnia for the first time.

Some people who have recovered from Covid-19 have reportedlasting impairments such as scarred lungs, fatigue and chronic heart damage, which scientists are still working to assess. The study’s findings suggest psychiatric damage could be another effect of so-called long Covid.

The study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, used electronic health records of 69 million people in the U.S., including over 62,000 cases of Covid-19. It was conducted by the University of Oxford’s department of psychiatry and theNIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre.

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The researchers also found that people with a pre-existing psychiatric diagnosis were 65% more likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19. That warrants adding such disorders to the list of risk factors for the coronavirus, said one of the scientists who conducted the data analysis, alongside old age and heart conditions.

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