A recent study from King’s College London found that during the COVID-19 epidemic, the number of deaths among people with mental health problems increased. The study was performed on more than 160,000 patients. Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, mortality rates among people with severe mental illness were already higher than in the general population. However, a new study published in The Lancet Regional Health – Europe notes that mental health problems – mortality of people with mental retardation – increased significantly in March-June 2020 compared to the first wave of COVID-19 with the general public.
According to the study, people with learning disabilities during the first block were nine times more likely to die from COVID-19 infections than the general population. It was also found that COVID mortality was almost five times higher in people with eating disorders. At the same time, COVID deaths were almost four times higher in people with mental disorders, and then three times higher in people with schizophrenia than in the general population.
The Modsley Center for Biomedical Research (BRC) sponsored a study using Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) technology to analyze anonymous patient medical records in South London. The researchers studied data from nearly 167,122 patients at the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust in South London between 2019 and 2020 using the NIHR Maudsley BRC CRIS. They also estimated the ratio of nine mental illnesses to the mortality of mental disorders. Patients were age-adjusted for sex and then compared to England’s five-year average weekly mortality rate in Wales (2015 to 2019). They were then compared with population statistics from London to see if local COVID impacts could explain the estimates.
“Higher mortality rate compared to the general population”
Citing Dr. Ayat Das-Munshi, lead author, reader of social’s psychiatric epidemiology at Royal College London, I Honorary Advisor to Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust in South London, ANI reports: Vulnerability of people with mental health: deteriorated during the COVID-19 epidemic. “The higher mortality rate compared to the general population was associated with more deaths from COVID-19 infection itself, as well as deaths from other causes.”
He said that during the epidemic, people with severe mental illness, people with mental health problems, should be considered as a vulnerable population at risk of death from COVID-19, among other causes. He also advised that during and after the COVID-19 epidemic, people with mental health problems should prioritize the provision of vaccines, physical health treatment, and reduced risk of suicide.
Moreover, Rob Stewart, Professor of Psychopathology and Clinical Informatics at King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurology, as the lead author of the study, stated that these findings, as well as their implications, underscore the ability to learn from medical records. He explained that they would be able to track the rise of the COVID-19 epidemic and its impact on mental health, as CRIS data in Modsley is regularly updated.
Meanwhile, mental illness և mortality among people with mental health problems decreased from July 2020 to September as COVID-19 cases decreased և blockades were lifted, but they were twice as high as the general population, which was close to an epidemic to the numbers before.