According to a study, people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and have a history of certain mental conditions, are at increased risk of breakthrough disease.
Researchers from the University of California (UC) San Francisco, US, noted that the risk may be related to impaired immune response as well as risky behavior associated with certain disorders.
The study, published Thursday in the JAMA Network Open journal, found that patients over 65 with substance abuse, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, adjustment disorders and anxiety faced an up to 24 percent risk for breakthrough COVID-19.
For people under the age of 65, the risk was up to 11 percent higher than for those without a psychiatric history, the researchers said.
They tracked data on more than 2.5 lakh US Department of Veterans Affairs patients who had completed their vaccine regimen and had at least one test for SARS-CoV-2.
More than half (51.4 percent) of patients had received at least one psychiatric diagnosis within the past five years and 14.8 percent had developed breakthrough COVID-19, confirmed by a positive test.
“Our research suggests that increased infections among people with psychiatric disorders cannot be fully explained by socio-demographic factors or pre-existing conditions,” said UCSF senior study author Aoife O’Donovan.
“It is possible that immunity declines more quickly or more strongly for people with mental disorders after vaccination and that they may receive less protection against the new forms,” O’Donovan said in a statement.
The average age of 263,697 participants was 66 and 90.8 percent were male.
Overall, participants with psychiatric disorders had a 3 percent increase in risk for breakthrough COVID infection in 2021 when compared to participants without a psychiatric history, both by demographic factors and pre-existing conditions, the researchers said. was adjusted for.
However, the risk was 24 percent higher for people over 65 with substance abuse, 23 percent higher for those with mental disorders, 16 percent higher for bipolar disorder, 14 percent for adjustment disorder, and 12 percent for anxiety. Was more. ,
Given the higher incidence of breakthrough infections among younger people, the study showed significantly less effect in the under-65 group.
The risk was 10 percent lower in participants with psychiatric disorders than in those without a psychiatric diagnosis, the researchers said.
They attribute this reduction to potentially less socialization among younger people with mental disorders compared to older people, who “may be less socially isolated due to poor health and contact with caregivers.” The higher incidence of breakthrough infections in older participants may be due to a reduced immune response to the vaccine that is associated with certain psychiatric disorders, which may be more significant in older adults, said study first author Kristen Nishimi of UCSF. “
It is also possible that older adults with psychiatric disorders “may require more frequent individualized care, which may increase their interactions with the health care system,” she said.
Decisive risks for other non-psychiatric conditions were also calculated and adjusted for factors such as obesity and smoking status, as well as other underlying conditions.
The researchers found that patients with chronic kidney disease had a 23 percent increased risk for HIV, 19 percent for heart disease, 18 percent for COPD, and 13 percent for sleep apnea.
O’Donovan said this suggests that some mental conditions, particularly in the over-65 group, pose risks that are comparable to those of other conditions.
“Mental health is important to consider in conjunction with other risk factors and some patients should be prioritized for boosters and other important preventive efforts,” she said.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)