people diagnosed A psychiatric condition was more likely to catch COVID-19 after a thorough vaccination, according to a new study.
published in this month Jama Open Network, The study used the health records of more than 260,000 people from the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
The researchers found that the correlation was much stronger among people 65 and older. It may be the result of decades of struggle – from having a psychiatric condition and conditions that can lead to a psychiatric condition – to battering the immune system.
Donovan, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and one of the study authors, “There is a lot of evidence to suggest that chronic stress, traumatic stress, and psychological conditions may actually accelerate cellular aging.” can bring.” says In Verse, “It’s putting you at risk for looking biologically older, and for your immune system, in particular, to act like the immune system of someone who’s older than you, and that’s definitely going to happen.” seen in patients with mental disorders.
What’s new – Researchers found that people with any psychiatric diagnosis were 3.7 percent more likely to develop a successful infection with COVID-19. The researchers did this after adjusting the calculations for contextual factors more common to VA patients.
Among the types diagnosed, non-alcoholic substance abuse issues had the largest association with success cases, leading to a 16 percent increase in risk. This was no surprise, says O’Donovan. Addiction causes people to increase risk-taking behavior, and the pandemic created an environment where everything from hugging to eating in a restaurant was risk-taking behavior.
This was followed by adjustment disorders—in which someone feels unusual stress or sadness in response to a life event, which is associated with a 13 percent increase in risk, followed by anxiety disorders (eight percent), bipolar disorder (seven percent). ) alcohol use disorder (five percent), depression (five percent), and post-traumatic stress disorder (three percent).
There was a significant difference when the results were broken down between subjects younger than 65 years of age and those older. Overall, people over the age of 65 who had a psychiatric diagnosis were five percent more likely to have a successful COVID-19 infection than others of that age. The risk increased for each condition, more than double for PTSD and seven-fold for those with bipolar condition.
For those under 65, the associations with depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and alcohol use disorders were reduced to the point of being statistically insignificant.
people under the age of 65 with mental conditions – such as schizophrenia that involve a break from reality – were low Likely to receive COVID-19 post-vaccination, which O’Donovan prepares for social isolation. This echoes an Israeli study of people with schizophrenia; They were less likely to have COVID-19 in general. The authors of that study partly attributed those results to social isolation as well.
But for people over the age of 65, mental conditions were highly correlated with the risk of a successful transition, increasing the risk by 26 percent.
The paper theorizes that “vulnerabilities associated with psychiatric disorders may interact with vulnerabilities associated with aging to confer a greater risk for event breakthrough transition.”
How did they do it – The researchers used the records of 263,697 fully vaccinated VA patients, of whom 51 percent had at least one psychiatric diagnosis. About 15 percent experienced a successful transition.
Using data exclusively from the VA wasn’t ideal, says O’Donovan. This group is not representative of the entire US population. People who move to the VA are more likely to have low socioeconomic status, have multiple medical conditions, and live in a rural area. They are also generally larger and almost all male.
However, “the VA did a great job of gathering all this information and releasing it quickly,” she says. Without that kind of real-time record-keeping, she says, it would be incredibly difficult to find so much information on a recent phenomenon (“breakthrough Covid-19” is a concept that didn’t exist 16 months ago).
And with so much data, researchers can make adjustments to reduce the impact of factors that will color the results.
Findings “unlikely to be specific to COVID-19”
Another drawback: The VA typically classifies patients into two age groups: under 65 and over 65, ubiquitous in government records because 65 is the starting point for Social Security and Medicare. This meant that it was impossible to see exactly when the increased risk of having a successful transition for people with the mental condition began.
“We would have known more if we had the 10-year bracket,” O’Donovan says.
Why it matters – The study is yet another piece of research showing that psychological conditions affect the immune system, a finding that could be important for more than just today’s issue du jour.
“The findings are not likely to be specific to COVID-19,” O’Donovan says, “but other infections are more likely to be generalized. An obvious issue is the risks to flu and flu prevention.”
These findings give reason to consider mental health when designing a response to COVID-19 and other infectious disease outbreaks.
O’Donovan says, “This study adds to a body of literature that is telling us that patients with psychiatric disorders may well be – and it appears to be – a vulnerable population in this pandemic that needs targeted prevention efforts. Might be possible.” “We may need to focus on integrating Covid prevention into mental health care and integrating mental health care into our COVID prevention strategies as the two are so intertwined.”
What will happen next – O’Donovan wants to start a project that examines the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines on people with psychiatric conditions, which may indicate an additional need for boosters.