Nearly one in five or 18 in every 100 COVID patients suffered from anxiety, depression, insomnia, dementia after recovery, found a new study conducted at Oxford University and published in 'The Lancet Psychiatric Journal'.
There was a significantly higher risk of dementia than other psychiatric disorders.
"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," Reuters quoted Paul Harrison, Psychiatry professor, Oxford. There is an urgent need to investigate the causes behind it and identify treatments for mental illness after COVID-19, Harrison added.
Given the long term effects of the pandemic, Harrison suggested that health services need to be ready and up to date to deal with such cases, and provide them with utmost care.
The study was conducted after analysing electronic health records of nearly 69 million people in the United States, including more than 62,000 cases of COVID-19. The psychiatric problem was twice as likely as for other groups of patients in the same period, the document read.
The study also found that people with pre-existing mental illness were 65 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than those without.
Speaking to the media, mental health experts said the findings add to the growing evidence on coronavirus effects on the brain and mind, and increased risk of a range of psychiatric illnesses. Some specialists suggested the problem majorly exists due to a combination of the psychological stressors linked with the pandemic and the physical effects of the illness.
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