Many Covid-19 survivors are likely to be at an increased risk of developing a psychiatric condition, psychiatrists said Monday, after a large study found that 20% of those infected with the coronavirus within 90 days.
Anxiety, depression, and insomnia were more common in recovered Covid-19 patients in the study who developed mental health problems, and the researchers also found significantly higher risks for dementia, a brain-damaging condition.
People are concerned that Covid-19 survivors are at higher risk for mental health problems, and our finding show that this is likely, said Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at Oxford University in the UK. .
The study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, analyzed the electronic health records of 69 million people in the United States, including more than 62,000 cases of COVID-19.
In the 3 months following a positive test for COVID-19, 1 in 5 survivors was first diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or insomnia. This was about twice as likely as in other groups of patients over the same time 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.