Researchers at Oxford University have claimed that most Coronavirus survivors are at an increased risk of developing a mental illness within a month and a half after being diagnosed with the viral infection.
According to a study titled “Bidirectional Associations between COVID-19 and Psychiatric Disorder” published recently in the Lancet Psychiatry journal, 1 out of 5 or 20% of Coronavirus patients develop psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and dementia during the first 14 to 90 days after the diagnosis of COVID-19.
Over the course of the study, Oxford University researchers in collaboration with TriNetX, a global health research network for healthcare organizations, analyzed the electronic health records of 69·8 million Coronavirus patients who were diagnosed between 20 January and 1 August.
The study also claimed that people with a pre-existing mental illness are 65% more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than those without.
Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at Oxford University and one of the authors of the study, has said that the study confirms that Coronavirus survivors are at a greater risk of developing a mental illness.
He added that scientists and doctors ought to ascertain the causes and develop a treatment for mental illnesses resulting from Coronavirus infection.
Michael Bloomfield, a consultant psychiatrist at University College London, has said that mental illnesses may result from Coronavirus due to the combination of psychological stressors linked with the ongoing pandemic and the physical toll the viral infection bears on the human body.
Simon Wessely, a professor of psychiatry at King’s College London, has said that Coronavirus infection affects the central nervous system which is why it results in a number of mental disorders.