People With This Disorder Have Higher Odds Of Developing Breakthrough COVID-19

A new study finds that people with mental illnesses are more likely to develop breakthrough COVID-19 infections.

Published in JAMA Network and conducted by researchers from California, the study was conducted on over 250,000 fully vaccinated patients in the U.S. The data was acquired through the U.S. Veterans Affairs health system, with mostly male participants, with a significant percentage of them having a psychiatric diagnosis.

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The study measured the odds of breakthrough COVID-19, infections that occur in people that were already vaccinated.

Researchers theorized that psychiatric disorders were associated with an increased risk for COVID-19 infections and set out to find answers considering that there’s a link between mental health and COVID-19. They found that there was a link between these conditions and COVID-19.

Results showed that participants over the age of 65 with “substance abuse, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, adjustment disorder, or anxiety” were 24% more likely to develop breakthrough COVID-19.

While age played an important factor, young participants with some kind of mental illness were 11% more likely than their counterparts to develop breakthrough COVID-19.

“Our research suggests that increased breakthrough infections in people with psychiatric disorders cannot be entirely explained by socio-demographic factors or pre-existing conditions,” said study leader Aoife O’Donovan of the San Francisco VA Health Care System.

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Previous studies have found links between mental health conditions and COVID-19, noting that people who survived COVID-19 were more likely to develop mental health conditions afterward. These conditions included anxiety and mood disorders, and to smaller degrees, dementia, and stroke.


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