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COVID-19 survivors: Increased risk of mental health issues

0 2 years ago

Using databases from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a new study catalogs a range of mental health issues in the 12 months following a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The study finds that people who have survived COVID-19 are at increased risk of mental health issues in the first year after the illness.

The study’s senior investigator is Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of research and development service at the VA Saint Louis Health Care System and a clinical epidemiologist and assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis. In an opinion pieceTrusted Source

published alongside the research, he says:

“The body of evidence on long COVID — from our work and others — suggests the need to reframe our thinking about SARS-CoV-2. It is not only a respiratory virus; it is a systemic virus that may provoke damage and clinical consequences in nearly every organ system — including mental health disorders and neurocognitive decline.”

Psychiatrist Dr. Maura Boldrini of Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City is the lead author of the article “How COVID-19 Affects the BrainTrusted Source

.” She commented on the new study for Medical News Today:

“This is a large study that sheds light on the prevalence of symptoms that reflect brain involvement in post-COVID patients. These symptoms can be classified by the [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] into psychiatric categories, but their pathogenesis is unknown.”

Dr. Noortje Uphoff is a research fellow at the University of York in the United Kingdom and the lead author of a related reviewTrusted Source

published in August 2021.

“The strengths of the study,” Dr. Uphoff told MNT, “are that many patients are included, COVID-19 patients are compared to people without evidence of the infection, and data were collected for a year. Whereas many studies measure mental health outcomes such as self-reported symptoms, in this study, medical records of diagnoses and prescriptions were used.”

The new study appears in the BMJTrusted Source

. Neither Dr. Boldrini nor Dr. Uphoff was involved in the new study.


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