According to a recent study, COVID patients had a 25% higher chance of acquiring a psychological problem in the months following infection than those who had other respiratory disorders.
Oregon State University researchers matched 46,610 COVID-19 positive people with patients who developed other diseases using data from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) to see how COVID-19 influenced mental health outcomes.
The frequencies of psychiatric diagnosis were assessed across two time periods: 21 to 120 days following a COVID diagnosis and 120 days to a year afterwards. The study was confined to people with no past history of mental disease and focused on anxiety and mood problems in particular.
Researchers found that patients with COVID-19 had a 3.8 percent chance of acquiring a psychological condition, compared to 3 percent of those with a different respiratory diagnosis.
“There could certainly be people who are struggling with new things like this, and they need that additional support or push to seek some help,” Lauren Chan, a doctoral student in nutrition in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, said in a news release.
“I don’t want to say that every single person who gets COVID is going to have this type of problem, but if you start to have concern for yourself or a family member, it’s not unheard of. You should definitely seek care for yourself or others around you.”
Chan added that an increase in mental health diagnoses poses a threat to a health care system already seeing an uptick in need of psychiatric help.
“We already had struggles in trying to identify a professional to work with, and we’re going to keep having difficulties getting people the care they need,” she said.
The new study adds to a growing body of research on the link between COVID-19 and mental health, which has had a significant impact on children and young people.
According to a recent study conducted by experts at the University of California, San Francisco, over half of young adults in the United States reported mental health symptoms in the middle of the pandemic’s second year.
Nonetheless, the findings of the teams revealed a decrease over the previous year. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, 63 percent of young adults in June 2020 had symptoms of despair or anxiety.
Follow Medically Speaking on Instagram