HealthDay News — In the 6 months after COVID-19 infection, there is considerable neurologic and psychiatric morbidity, according to a study published online April 6 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Maxime Taquet, PhD, from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues estimated the incidence of 14 neurological and psychiatric outcomes in the 6 months after a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. These incidences were compared to those in propensity score-matched cohorts of patients with influenza or other respiratory tract infections.

The researchers found that the estimated incidence of a neurological or psychiatric diagnosis among 236,379 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 was 33.62% in the following 6 months, with 12.84% receiving their first such diagnosis. The estimated incidence of a diagnosis was 46.42% among patients who had been admitted to an intensive therapy unit (ITU), and for a first diagnosis, the estimated incidence was 25.79%. Most diagnostic categories occurred more frequently in patients with COVID-19 than in those with influenza (hazard ratios, 1.44 for any diagnosis and 1.78 for any first diagnosis) and compared with those with other respiratory infections (corresponding hazard ratios, 1.16 and 1.32). Patients who had more severe COVID-19 had higher hazard ratios (e.g., those admitted to the ITU: hazard ratios, 1.58 and 2.87, respectively).

“The study cannot reveal the mechanisms involved, but does point to the need for urgent research to identify these, with a view to preventing or treating them,” Taquet said in a statement.

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One study author is an employee of TriNetX.

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