Long COVID, psychiatric disorders and suicidality
Leo Sher, M.D.
A research report, “Comorbidity of long COVID and psychiatric disorders after a hospitalisation for COVID-19: a cross-sectional study” has been published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry online ahead of print (1). The authors investigated the association between long COVID, psychiatric symptoms and psychiatric disorders.
One hundred seventy-seven patients admitted in intensive care unit during acute phase and/or reporting long COVID complaints were examined 4 months after hospitalization for acute COVID. Eight long COVID complaints were investigated: fatigue, respiratory and cognitive complaints, muscle weakness, pain, headache, paresthesia and anosmia.
One hundred and fifteen (65%) patients had at least one long COVID symptom. The number of long COVID complaints was significantly associated with insomnia, anxiety, depressive and post-traumatic stress symptoms. The number of long COVID complaints was higher in patients with psychiatric disorders, new-onset psychiatric disorders and significant suicide risk than in patients without any psychiatric disorder. Respiratory complaints were associated with a higher risk of psychiatric disorder and new-onset psychiatric disorder, and cognitive complaints were associated with a higher risk of psychiatric disorder.
The authors of this study concluded that long COVID is associated with psychiatric disorders, new-onset psychiatric disorders and suicide risk. The results of this study are consistent with previous research reports showing an association between long COVID symptoms and psychiatric symptoms. The authors also suggest that in patients with long COVID, especially those with respiratory or cognitive complaints, psychiatric disorders and suicide risk should be systematically examined.
- Gasnier M, Choucha W, Radiguer F, Faulet T, Chappell K, Bougarel A, Kondarjian C, Thorey P, Baldacci A, Ballerini M, Ait Tayeb AEK, Herrero H, Hardy-Leger I, Meyrignac O, Morin L, Lecoq AL, Pham T, Noel N, Jollant F, Montani D, Monnet X, Becquemont L, Corruble E, Colle R; COMEBAC study group. Comorbidity of long COVID and psychiatric disorders after a hospitalisation for COVID-19: a cross-sectional study. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2022 Aug 11:jnnp-2021-328516. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2021-328516. Epub ahead of print.