Over half get symptoms of major depression after COVID-19

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In a study from Massachusetts General Hospital, scientists found that more than half of individuals with prior COVID-19 illness have met the criteria for symptoms of major depressive disorder.

They examined whether acute COVID-19 symptoms are associated with the probability of subsequent depressive symptoms.

Data were included for 3,904 individuals who reported prior COVID-19 illness and were surveyed regarding specific symptoms and overall perceived severity of illness between June 2020 and January 2021, at a mean of 4.2 months since initial symptoms.

Participants also completed the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 for symptoms of depression.

The team found that 52.4 percent of the participants met the criteria for symptoms of major depressive disorder.

The presence of headache was linked to an increased probability of moderate or greater depression symptoms, as was greater overall severity.

The team also found that compared with men, women were less likely to have symptoms, and with increasing age, there was a decrease seen in the likelihood of symptoms.

These results add to a growing body of evidence suggesting the importance of considering potential neuropsychiatric sequelae of COVID-19 infection.

The results also suggest the importance of considering strategies that might mitigate the elevated risk of depressive symptoms following acute infection.

If you care about health, please read studies that a third COVID-19 booster is key to identifying and fighting new variants, and Vitamin D could help reduce depression symptoms.

For more information about mental health, please see the recent about why pizza is a very addictive food, and MIND diet could improve cognitive health in older people.

The study was conducted by Roy H. Perlis et al and published in JAMA Network Open.

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