1 in 3 Covid survivors suffer neurological or mental disorders: study

Reyes Magana, Teamsters Local’s 848 business agent, will be tested for COVID-19 at a test site provided by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on July 16, 2020 in Long Beach, California.

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One in three Covid-19 survivors has suffered a neurological or psychiatric disorder within six months of being infected with the virus. This was estimated in an observational study of more than 230,000 patient records.

The study, published Tuesday in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal, analyzed data from the electronic health records of 236,379 Covid-19 patients from the US-based TriNetX network, which includes more than 81 million people.

This group was compared to 105,579 patients diagnosed with influenza and 236,038 patients diagnosed with respiratory infection (including influenza).

Overall, the estimated incidence of a diagnosis of a neurological or mental disorder after Covid-19 infection was 34%. This was the result of a study by researchers at Oxford University who examined 14 neurological and mental illnesses.

For 13% of these people, it was their first recorded neurological or psychiatric diagnosis.

The most common diagnoses after the coronavirus were anxiety disorders (17% of patients), mood disorders (14%), substance abuse disorders (7%), and insomnia (5%). The incidence of neurological outcomes was lower, including 0.6% for cerebral hemorrhage, 2.1% for ischemic stroke, and 0.7% for dementia.

Taking into account the underlying health characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity and existing health conditions, there was an overall 44% higher risk of neurological and mental health diagnoses after Covid-19 than after flu and after Covid a 16% higher risk -19 than after Respiratory infections.

Since the coronavirus first appeared in China in late 2019, over 132 million cases of the virus and over 2.8 million deaths have been reported, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Professor Paul Harrison, lead author of the study in the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University, said the latest study underscores the need to equip health systems to potentially cope with higher numbers of neurological disorders in survivors of the virus.

“These are real data from a large number of patients. They confirm the high rates of psychiatric diagnoses after Covid-19 and show that serious disorders of the nervous system (such as stroke and dementia) also occur. especially in patients with severe Covid-19, “he noted.

“Although the individual risks for most diseases are small, the impact on the health and welfare systems of the population as a whole can be significant because of the scale of the pandemic and the fact that many of these diseases are chronic. As a result, health systems must do so . ” Provide funds to meet anticipated needs within both primary and secondary care. “

Dr. Max Taquet, co-author of the Oxford University study, said more research needed to be done to see “what happens after six months”.

“The study fails to uncover the mechanisms involved, but it does indicate the need for urgent research to identify them in order to prevent or treat them.”

Since the pandemic emerged worldwide in spring 2020, numerous studies have been conducted into the short and long-term effects of the virus. Oxford University’s Psychiatry Department noted that there was growing concern that survivors could be at increased risk for neurological disorders.

“A previous observational study by the same research group reported that Covid-19 survivors were at increased risk of mood and anxiety disorders in the first three months after infection. However, there is no extensive data yet investigating the risks of neurological and psychiatric diagnoses in the six months after the Covid-19 infection, “said the department.

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