Study: COVID-19 Survivors May Be at Greater Mental Health Risk

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Researchers say COVID-19 survivors may be at greater risk of developing mental health issues than other people. That information comes from a large study published earlier this week.

The study found that 20 percent of those infected with the novel coronavirus are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder within 90 days.

Researchers from Britain's Oxford University studied recovered COVID-19 patients who developed mental health problems. They found that the most common issues were anxiety, depression, and insomnia -- the inability to sleep. They also noted a much higher risk of dementia, a condition that weakens the brain.

Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at Oxford, is one of the researchers. He told Reuters news agency, "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."

Harrison urged doctors and scientists around the world to urgently investigate the causes of mental conditions after COVID-19. And he wants them to find new treatments for the disease.

Health services need to be ready to provide care, Harrison warned. This is especially true, he said, because the estimates from the study are probably on the low side.

The Oxford researchers looked at electronic health records of 69 million people in the United States. This number included more than 62,000 cases of COVID-19. The researchers said the…
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