The study, published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal this week, pulled data (in part) from the electronic health records of 236,379 patients who had a COVID-19 diagnosis. As researchers explained when discussing their results, the data shown in the new new study supports the predictions and reports of various adverse neurological and psychiatric outcomes occurring after a COVID-19 diagnosis.
The most common diagnoses among the 14 disorders studied were anxiety and depression, though other diagnoses were also reported.
All told, as researchers explained in their summary, current data shows “COVID-19 is followed by significant rates of neurological and psychiatric diagnoses over the subsequent 6 months.” Due to this, health authorities should treat such issues as part of a larger “anticipated need” when dealing with COVID-19 patients.
Further detailing what could be learned from these latest findings in comments given to Reuters on Tuesday, Paul Harrison—a psychiatry professor at Oxford University who co-led the study—said individual risks for the bulk of disorders remains small. However, Harrison added, “the effect across the whole population may be substantial.”
While it will indeed take a number of additional studies—not to mention the mere passing of time—before we all get a fuller picture of the impact of COVID-19 from diagnosis-inspired effects to general pandemic trauma, this latest study should contribute to the current literature on several oft-overlooked aspects of the coronavirus era.
Thankfully, recent days have also given us all some undeniably good news, perhaps most notably in the form of the Biden administration deciding to move up the date states and regions in the U.S. will be required to open up vaccine eligibility to all adults.
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