Severe COVID-19 may heighten risk of psychiatric disorders, study finds

A new study published in JAMA PsychiatryJAMA Psychiatry shows that patients who recovered from severe COVID-19 infections and other severe acute respiratory infections are more likely to be diagnosed with new psychiatric conditions.

The data collected from more than 8 million adults showed that the diagnosis of disorders such as anxiety disorder, dementia, psychotic disorder and bipolar disorder post-infection was more common than in those who had not had severe infections.

The study's findings suggest that the disease severity, rather than the specific pathogen associated with the infection, has more of a correlation to the increase of psychiatric diagnoses after patient recovery.

The researchers said the increase could be a result of "physiologic alterations, physical deconditioning, and other infection-related stressors" associated with infections of this type.

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