It was suspected, but this is now official: about a third of patients recovered from Covid-19 suffers from psychiatric or neurological sequelae. This is what a study published this Wednesday April 7, 2021 in The Lancet Psychiatry reads. According to the results of the study – conducted in a large representative sample including over 230,000 patients who have been infected by the virus – 34% of the patients have been diagnosed with neurological or psychiatric disorders in the six months following infection.
Even worse: for 13% of these people, this is their first neurological or psychiatric diagnose. In concrete words, Oxford University searchers consider that from the results of their study, anxiety (17%), and mood disorders (14%) are the two most frequent diagnoses made in Covid-19 recovered patients. From a neurological point of view, cerebrovascular diseases are the most found in 2.1% of patients, in front of dementia (0.7%), and brain hemorrhages (0.6%).
Furthermore, the conclusions of the study mostly led by Pr. Paul Harrison emphasize the seriousness of the situation. As a matter of fact, even though the risk remains quite limited on an individual level in most patients cured, the study is worried about an effect that could be “considerable” for healthcare systems, especially because of the size of the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, most of the disorders reported are “chronic”, the Professor explains. He also wishes more resources to be granted to healthcare systems “to deal with this anticipated need”.
More sequelae in patients in intensive care units
When reading the conclusions of the study, there is one particularly worrying data standing out: 46% of patients hospitalized in intensive care units have been diagnosed with neurological or psychiatric disorder in the six months following Covid-19 diagnosis. Moreover, about 7% of people hospitalized in ICU had a stroke after. In the same category, 2.7% of patients have suffered from a brain hemorrhage, and dementia occurred in about 2% of them. In clinical patients, these statistics respectively reach 1.3%, 0.3%, and 0.4%.
To support this study’s edifying conclusions carried bout by his scientific peers, London University Professor Jonathan Rodgers comments the journal’s article: “Sadly, many of the disorders identified in this study tend to be chronic or recurrent, so we can anticipate that the impact of Covid-19 could be with us for many years”.