(CNN) — A major study published Tuesday suggests as many as one in three people infected with Covid-19 are left with longer term mental health or neurological symptoms.
Researchers found that 34% of coronavirus survivors received a diagnosis for a neurological or psychological condition within six months of infection, according to the research published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry.
The most common diagnosis was anxiety, found in 17% of those treated for Covid-19, followed by mood disorders, found in 14% of patients, CNN’s Ryan Prior writes.
The results help light the way for how health care systems ought to continue helping Covid-19 survivors, the scientists said.
“Our results indicate that brain diseases and psychiatric disorders are more common after Covid-19 than after flu or other respiratory infections, even when patients are matched for other risk factors,” said Maxime Taquet, an academic clinical fellow in psychiatry at the University of Oxford, and a co-author of the new report .
“We now need to see what happens beyond six months.”
While the neurological effects are more severe in hospitalized patients, they are still common in those who were only treated in an outpatient setting, according to the study.
The research is the largest of its kind and involved the electronic health records of more than 236,000 Covid-19 patients, mostly in the US.
The findings provide a sweeping view of the long-term burden the virus will have on those it struck.
Other, smaller studies have pointed to the same conclusion. Research in February followed 381 patients treated for Covid-19 at a hospital in Rome, Italy and found that 30% of them experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after recovery.
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