Infectious Disease

Mood disorders should be viewed as a pre-existing condition for increased COVID-19 risks

August 05, 2021

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Disclosure:
McIntyre reports numerous relevant financial disclosures. Please refer to the study for his and all other authors’ relevant financial information.

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People with pre-existing mood disorders were at increased risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19, according to the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Therefore, they should be classified as a risk group based on a pre-existing condition, the researchers suggested.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have known that pre-existing chronic illnesses can increase the risk of infection from COVID-19 and complications from the virus, but there has been less research into whether mental disorders increase people’s risk of being infected and / or complications to have through the pandemic “, Roger S. McIntyre, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto, said Healio Psychiatry. “Our research adds to our knowledge by identifying that a person with a history of mood disorder is at greater risk of being hospitalized and dying from the pandemic.”

McIntyre and colleagues attempted to determine the role of pre-existing mood disorder in risk of COVID-19 susceptibility, hospitalization, major complications, and death. They systematically searched multiple databases from the beginning of the database through February 1 for studies reporting data on COVID-19 outcomes in populations with and without mood disorders. They included 21 primary research articles with more than 91 million people that included quantitative COVID-19 outcome data from people with mood disorders compared to people without mood disorders of any age, gender, or nationality.

People with pre-existing mood disorders had a significantly increased risk of COVID-19 hospitalization (OR = 1.31; 95% CI 1.12-1.53; n = 26,554,397) and death (OR = 1.51 ; 95% CI, 1.34-1.69; n = 25,808,660) compared to people without mood disorders. McIntyre and colleagues found no association between mood disorders and COVID-19 sensitivity (OR = 1.27; 95% CI 0.73-2.19; n = 65,514,469) or major events (OR = 0.94; 95% CI, 0.87 1.03; n = 83,240). They noted the presence of publication bias by visually inspecting the composite funnel plot for asymmetry; however, the result of the Egger regression intercept test was not statistically significant.

“Individuals with chronic mental disorders such as depression need to be prioritized and educated about the importance of vaccination to protect them as this is a major pre-existing condition that puts them at greater risk from COVID-19,” said McIntyre.

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