People diagnosed with Covid-19 'more likely to develop depression and dementia'

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People diagnosed with Covid-19 are more likely to develop depression and dementia, a new study has found.

Researchers from the University of Oxford conducted an observational study and discovered that those who had tested positive for coronavirus in the last six months had an increased risk of having mental health problems, such as anxiety and psychosis, and stroke.

Scientists analysed data from more than 500,000 patients in the U.S. and found that those who had been diagnosed with Covid-19 were 16 per cent more likely to develop a psychological or neurological disorder.

They compared those who had Covid-19 with two other groups of people – one with flu and another with other respiratory infections – and discovered that those who had been admitted to hospital during their Covid-19 battle were worse off.

Around 24 per cent of patients were affected by mood, anxiety or psychotic disorders, while two per cent of all patients suffered a stroke, a figure which rose to seven per cent if they had been admitted to intensive care.

Researchers found if the patient had been severely ill with Covid-19, that further increased their chances of being diagnosed with mental health or brain disorders.

They said that conditions such as stroke and dementia would be due to the impact of the virus on the brain and body, while anxiety and other mental health issues were down to the stress of being ill with Covid-19.

The study also found that a third of those with coronavirus went on to have a relapse of a psychological or neurological condition.