One study found that people who had symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress and loneliness before infection may be at higher risk of developing long-standing covid.
Poor mental health increases the risk of covid in the long term, according to a study
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health studied more than 54,000 participants since the start of the pandemic and found that high levels of emotional distress before contracting COVID increased the risk of long-term symptoms by 32-46%. . discovered.
During the year of the study, around 3,000 of the participants contracted covid and were asked about their symptoms and their duration.
Using questions about mental health at the start of the study, the team compared responses from those with long-term covid and those without.
They also found that emotional distress was associated with a 15% to 51% increased risk of long-term impact of COVID-19 on daily life.
The increased risk was independent of smoking, asthma, or other health behaviors or conditions, reported in JAMA Psychiatry.
“We were surprised by how strongly pre-COVID-19 mental distress was associated with increased risk of long-term COVID-19 infection,” said study leader Siwen Wang.
“Distress was more strongly associated with prolonged covid than with physical health risk factors such as obesity, asthma, and hypertension.
They noted that other acute respiratory tract infections, such as influenza and the common cold, were associated with more severe mental health conditions and a longer duration of symptoms, and previous studies found that distress was associated with post-Lyme disease. . chronic symptoms and chronic fatigue. Syndrome and fibromyalgia.
However, they stressed that the results should not be misinterpreted as supporting the hypothesis that post-COVID-19 conditions are psychosomatic.
A potential link between psychological distress and long-term covid could be chronic systemic inflammation and immune dysregulation, they wrote.
Co-author Andrea Roberts said: “In addition to physical health, psychological health should be considered a long-term risk factor for COVID-19. raising mental health awareness, increasing the supply of mental health physicians, and improving access to care, all of which increase the need to provide mental health care to those who need it.
According to data from the National Statistical Office, among people aged 35 to 69, women, people living in deprived areas, people working in social assistance, education, education, health care and people with other illnesses, have been shown to have the highest self-reported long-term prevalence of Covid. A medical condition or disorder that limits other activity.
Last month, NHS England said it would be up to the ICS to decide how to support common practice in dealing with the protracted problem of Covid.