Covid is no more likely to cause depression, anxiety or other psychological issues than separate serious infections, a major study claims.
Oxford University researchers found the rates of psychiatric disorders were ‘similar’ among people hospitalised with Covid and for other respiratory illnesses.
They looked at around 17,000 patients admitted with the pandemic-causing virus in England between January 2020 and July 2021 and matched them to 32,000 people admitted for a different respiratory infection between 2015 and 2020.
The results were compared to baseline rates of psychiatric disorders among almost 8million members of the public.
Results showed people who survived severe Covid were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression a year after they left hospital compared to the general public.
But those admitted for other serious infections — such as flu, pneumonia or — were at a three-and-a-half times increased risk.
Writing in JAMA Psychiatry, experts said the risk of psychological disorders after severe Covid were ‘similar to those for other severe acute respiratory infections’.
They added: ‘This finding may inform post-discharge support for people surviving SARI.’
The study also found those with Covid were also at less risk of psychotic disorders and had the same chance of becoming bipolar later down the line.