Many COVID-19 survivors are likely to be at greater risk of developing mental illness, psychiatrists said on Monday, after a large study found 20% of those infected with the coronavirus are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder within 90 days.
Anxiety, depression and insomnia were most common among recovered COVID-19 patients in the study who developed mental health problems, and the researchers also found significantly higher risks of dementia, a brain impairment condition.
“People have been worried that COVID-19 survivors will be at greater risk of mental health problems, and our findings … show this to be likely,” said Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at Britain’s Oxford University.
Doctors and scientists around the world urgently need to investigate the causes and identify new treatments for mental illness after COVID-19, Harrison said.
“(Health) services need to be ready to provide care, especially since our results are likely to be underestimates (of the number of psychiatric patients),” he added.
The study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, analyzed electronic health records of 69 million people in the United States, including more than 62,000 cases of COVID-19.Original Source