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Mental illness May Increase COVID-19 Risk, Study Finds

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Mental illness May Increase COVID-19 Risk, Study Finds

(CTN News) – people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 and have a history of certain mental illnesses are at higher risk of getting the flu. according to a new study.

The University of California, San Francisco studied data from 263,697 US Department of Veterans Affairs patients who had completed their vaccinations and at least one COVID-19 test. In the last five years, 51 percent received a psychiatric diagnosis, and 14.8 percent contracted COVID-19.

Psychiatric disorders may increase the risk of breakthrough COVID-19 infection

Patients over the age of 65 with substance abuse disorder, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, adjustment disorder, and anxiety had higher risks of a breakthrough COVID-19 infection by up to 24 percent, while those younger than 65 faced an 11 percent greater risk of breakthrough infection.

According to study author Aoife O’Donovan, “psychiatric disorders are associated with increased breakthrough infections that are not entirely explained by socio-demographic factors or pre-existing conditions.” Immunity following vaccination can be lost more quickly or stronger for people with psychiatric disorders.

Must Read: Pfizer Seeks COVID Booster For Healthy 5- To 11-Year-Olds

She continued, “mental health should be taken into consideration with other risk factors, and some patients should receive boosters and other preventive measures.”

Patients over 65 with substance abuse had a 24 percent higher breakthrough risk, 22 percent higher for those with psychotic disorders, 16 percent higher for bipolar disorder, 14 percent higher for adjustment disorder, and 12 percent higher for anxiety.

Nearly 91 percent of patients were male and the average age was 66. Scientists adjusted the data for age, sex, race, ethnicity, type of vaccine, as well as smoking and underlying conditions like obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea, heart, lung, kidney, and liver diseases, HIV, and cancer.

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