Medical workers, wearing protective gear, work in the intensive care unit (ICU) where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated at Cambrai hospital, France, April 1, 2021. Photograph:( Reuters )
The study took into account health records of over 230,000 patients who had recovered from COVID-19
A new study sheds light on how COVID-19 affects the neurological health of recovered patients. Turns out, one in three people who recover from COVID-19 suffer a neurological or psychiatric diagnosis six months later, the study published in The Lancet Psychiatry Journal on Wednesday said.
The study took into account health records of over 230,000 patients who had recovered from COVID-19. They found that 34 per cent patients were diagnosed with a psychiatric condition within six months.
Most patients reported anxiety, with 17 per cent claiming the same while 14 per cent reported mood disorders. For 13 per cent patients who reported mental health issues, these were first diagnoses of a mental issue for them.
Neurological disorders were less prevalent. Brain haemorrhage accounted for 0.6 per cent, stroke for 2.1 per cent, and dementia for 0.7 per cent, suggesting the risk of neurological issues was lower than psychiatric disorders.
Even then, the risk of brain disorders was higher among patients who had severe COVID-19. 46 per cent patients who required intensive care were diagnosed with neurological or psychiatric conditions within the span of 6 months after recovering.
AFP cited Paul Harrison, the leader author of the study from the University of Oxford as saying that even the individual risk of developing issues was low, the overall effect could be “substantial”. Harrison also said that “many of these conditions are chronic”.
"As a result, health care systems need to be resourced to deal with the anticipated need, both within primary and secondary care services”, he added.