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Many COVID-19 patients later develop mental illness, study finds

Twenty percent of coronavirus patients later develop a new mental illness, according to a study.

The most common disorders experienced by COVID-19 survivors within 90 days of their diagnoses are anxiety, depression and insomnia, according to the study published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

“People have been worried that COVID-19 survivors will be at greater risk of mental health problems, and our findings … show this to be likely,” said Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at Britain’s Oxford University.

The study looked at the electronic health records of over 62,000 coronavirus patients in the US.

The study group was twice as likely to suffer from a new mental illness than other groups of patients during the same period, researchers said.

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“This is likely due to a combination of the psychological stressors associated with this particular pandemic and the physical effects of the illness,” said Michael Bloomfield, a consultant psychiatrist at University College London who was not directly involved with the study.

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