People with severe mental disorders more likely to die from COVID-19

severe mental disorders
© Kmiragaya

A new study from Umeå University and Karolinska Institutet has found that people with severe mental disorders have a significantly increased risk of dying from COVID-19

Researchers from the Umeå University and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden analysed data on the entire Swedish population over the age of 20 from 11th March to 15th June 2020 to note whether severe mental disorders had an effect on COVID-19 mortality.

Among the citizens with a diagnosed psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia and bipolar, 130 people died as a result of COVID-19 infection.

Elderly population

In the age group 60-79 years, death from COVID-19 was almost four times as common.

Of those who had not been diagnosed with a mental disorder, the mortality rate was almost halved, at 0.06%.

“We see a high excess mortality due to COVID-19 among the elderly with severe mental disorders, which gives us reason to consider whether this group should be given priority for vaccines,” says Martin Maripuu, associate professor at Umeå University.

“It might be that severe mental disorders can lead to premature biological ageing, that the disease impairs health and the immune system in general or that this group has other risk factors such as obesity. It is always important to address both, mental and physical health problems of people with these disorders,” says Martin Maripuu.


Read the full study here


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