People With Mental Health Disorders Nearly Twice As Likely To Die From Covid, Study Finds

ToplineNew research released Tuesday shows that patients with mental disorders are nearly twice as likely to die of Covid-19 than those without. This prompts researchers to call on public health officials to make more efforts to help vulnerable populations in their efforts to combat the pandemic.Studies show that people with mental disorders are more likely than others to die from Covid-19. gettyThe Key FactsAccording to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, patients with mental disorders were almost twice as likely to die from Covid-19 (1.8 times), than patients without them. Researchers found that patients with severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder had a higher risk of dying from Covid-19 than those without them. They were more likely to die (2.3 times) than patients who have no mental health issues. Researchers speculate that the increased risk in these patients could be due to differences in the immune system in schizophrenia and bipolar patients. Researchers found that people with severe mental disorders had a significantly higher risk of dying than those without them (1.7 times) and overall (1.4 times). Researchers suggested that this could be due to other factors, including difficulty accessing healthcare, increased propensities for abuse, the effects of medication and a variety of social factors that can influence health outcomes. Researchers said that mental health patients are at higher risk of death from Covid-19. They should be given priority for disease prevention and management strategies. This includes vaccinations, treatment, and training for hospital staff.What we don't knowThese findings were derived by an analysis of 16 studies which examined more than 19,000 patients in seven countries. However, the results did not accurately reflect the risk of different mental disorders. Researchers suggested that future research could address this issue. These disorders included schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression as well as anxiety, personality disorders, substance abuse disorders, and addiction. Although these disorders are not usually considered to be mental disorders, they were often found in many of the studies and frequently co-occur with them.What to WatchDifferent types of depression were identified in the various studies. Researchers speculate that Covid-19 may have different mortality rates for people with depressive disorders with recurrent episodes and acute episodes. This is because it is possible that these deaths could be different.Important BackgroundThis research is consistent with previous research that highlighted the increased risks Covid-19 poses to patients with mental disorders, especially schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Many people have been unable to access the healthcare they require since the pandemic. The usual support networks and healthcare networks were closed or have had to adapt to online services. Mental wellbeing has also been affected by the pandemic in all its forms. People's mental health has been affected by fear, isolation, and stress. Changes in work and living conditions have also had an impact on their mental health. One in five Covid-19 patients will be diagnosed with a mental disorder within three months of their recovery. Brain and thinking problems are common among those who have suffered from long Covid. One study found that 23% of Covid-19 patients reported depression, and 16% experienced anxiety. This is even for mild cases.Continue readingOne in Five Patients with Covid-19 Diagnosed With a Mental Illness within Three Months of Testing Positive, Study Findings (Forbes).Association Between Mental Health Disorders in Patients with COVID-19 in 7 countries (JAMA Psychiatry).Research shows that high numbers of covid patients report a negative impact on their mental health (Forbes).Telegraph: Covid-19's impact on bipolar disorder sufferers (Revealed)Live updates and coverage of the Coronavirus