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Study – Poor mental health offers a higher risk of COVID infection


A study found that people vaccinated against COVID-19 who have a history of certain mental illnesses have a higher risk of infection, a study found, according to Euronews.

Because vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing infection, a “discovered infection” is when a fully vaccinated person becomes infected.

It was found that patients over the age of 65 who had a history of substance abuse, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, adjustment disorder and anxiety had an increased risk of infection of up to 24%.

The researchers believe that in addition to the risky behaviors associated with some of these disorders, the finding may also be due in part to a poor immune response.

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Health Care System found that patients under the age of 65 with the same condition were up to 11 percent more likely than those without a psychiatric history.

For both age groups, data were adjusted for age, gender, race, ethnicity, and type of vaccine, as well as for smoking and underlying conditions such as obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease. , lung, kidney and liver, HIV and cancer.

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‘Possible immunity diminishes faster’

Published in the JAMA Network Open, the study looked at data from more than 250,000 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs patients who completed their COVID-19 vaccination program.

Just over half of the patients had received at least one psychiatric diagnosis in the last five years, and 14.8% of them had developed COVID-19, confirmed by a positive test.

“Our research suggests that the increased number of infections found in people with psychiatric disorders cannot be fully explained by socio-demographic factors or pre-existing conditions,” said Aoife O’Donovan, PhD, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. and the San Francisco VA Health Care System.

“Immunity from vaccination may decrease faster or stronger in people with psychiatric disorders and / or they may have less protection in newer variants.”

The risk was 24% higher for people over 65 with substance abuse, 23% higher for those with psychotic disorders, 16% higher for bipolar disorder, 14% higher for adjustment disorder and 12% higher. % for anxiety.

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The average age of the 263,697 participants was 66, and 90.8 percent of them were men.

Less effective for people under 65

Surprisingly, the study showed significantly lower effects in the group of people under 65 years of age.

Lead author Kristen Nishimi, PhD, also from the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences and the San Francisco VA Health Care System, said she believes the rates could be due to “a low immune response to the vaccine that has been associated with some psychiatric disorders, which may be more pronounced in older adults ”.

Older adults with psychiatric disorders “may need more frequent care, which could increase their interactions with the health system,” she said.

The same researchers conducted another study earlier this year, which found that people with high anxiety and a probable post-traumatic stress disorder were more likely to engage in behaviors that put them at risk for COVID-19 infection.

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