1 in 3 Covid-19 patients are diagnosed with a neuropsychiatric condition
Six months after being diagnosed with Covid-19, 1 in 3 patients also had experienced a psychiatric or neurological illness, mostly mood disorders but also strokes or dementia, a large new study shows.
About 1 in 8 of the patients (12.8%) were diagnosed for the first time with such an illness, most commonly anxiety or depression. Compared to control groups of people who had the flu or other non-Covid respiratory infections, first-ever neuropsychiatric diagnoses were almost twice as high.
The study, published Tuesday in The Lancet Psychiatry, used real-world health data on millions of people to gauge the incidence of 13 brain disorders. Anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders were most common, but the researchers also found worrying, if lower, rates of serious neurological complications, especially in patients who had been severely ill with Covid-19. In all Covid-19 patients, 0.6% developed a brain hemorrhage, 2.1% an ischemic stroke, and 0.7% dementia.