Globe Live Media, Friday, January 29, 2021
People with schizophrenia are almost three times more likely to die from the coronavirus. It is the study that the journal JAMA Psychiatry has published, where the researchers say, you are at a increased risk with a psychiatric illness.
Research, led by the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, has shown that schizophrenia causes the probability of dying in case of contracting the coronavirus is 2.7 times more, that is, a new higher risk factor that is placed behind age than, if you are over 75 years old, your chances are 35.7 times more. Behind this disease are aspects such as male sex, heart disease or race.
“Our findings illustrate that people with schizophrenia are extremely vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. With this new understanding, healthcare providers can better prioritize vaccine distribution, testing and medical care for this group,” explains Dr. Katlyn Nemani, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health and lead author of the study, speaking to Europa Press.
Other mental illnesses, without increased risk from COVID
The same study revealed that, apart from schizophrenia, other mental health problems were not at higher risk from COVID-19, such as mood disorders or even anxiety. And it is that since the beginning of the pandemic the risk factors in other diseases that can make people more prone not to overcome the virus have been studied – and continue to do so. Thus, It is important to know about the coronavirus and alert all risk groups to take greater precaution against possible contagion.
Since the beginning of the investigation, the relationship between psychiatric disorders with an increased risk of dying in the event of contracting the coronavirus has been taken into account. Nevertheless, the results regarding schizophrenia do not explain in detail what is its relationship with a higher risk. According to the experts, “an increased risk of mortality was expected among people with schizophrenia, but not to the extent that the study found.”
The biology of schizophrenia, key in the studies
Given these results, scientists continue to investigate and suggest that there may be something in the biology of schizophrenia that increases the risk of contracting coronavirus or other viral infections, making those who suffer from this mental illness more vulnerable. One possible explanation is an impaired immune system, possibly related to the genetics of the disorder, Nemani says.
“Now that we have a better understanding of the disease, we can further examine what immune system problems, if any, could contribute to the high death rates seen in these patients with schizophrenia “, highlights study lead author Donald Goff, Marvin Stern Professor of Psychiatry at NYU Langone, after analyzing 7,348 patient records of men and women treated for COVID-19. And this study provided a unique opportunity to study the underlying effects of schizophrenia on the body.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.