Over half have signs of main depressive dysfunction after COVID-19

Over half have symptoms of major depressive disorder after COVID-19

More than half of people with a history of COVID-19 have met the criteria for symptoms of major depression. This is evident from a research letter published online on March 12 in JAMA Network Open.

Roy H. Perlis, M.D. of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and colleagues investigated whether acute COVID-19 symptoms were linked to the likelihood of subsequent symptoms of depression. Data were included for 3,904 people who reported a previous COVID-19 illness and were interviewed between June 2020 and January 2021 for a mean of 4.2 months since the first symptoms about specific symptoms and the overall perceived severity of the illness. Participants also completed Patient Health Questionnaire 9 for Symptoms of Depression.

The researchers found that 52.4 percent of participants met criteria for symptoms of major depression. Headache presence was associated with an increased likelihood of moderate or major depression symptoms in fully fitted models (adjusted odds ratio, 1.33), as well as higher overall severity (somewhat versus not at all severe: adjusted odds ratio, 2.59; very versus not all severe: adjusted odds ratio, 5.08). Compared to men, women had fewer symptoms (adjusted odds ratio, 0.72) and the likelihood of symptoms decreased with age (adjusted odds ratio of one decade, 0.76).

"Our results add to a growing body of evidence indicating the importance of considering possible neuropsychiatric consequences of COVID-19 infection," the authors write. "Our results also suggest the importance of considering strategies that could reduce the increased risk of depressive symptoms after acute infection."

One author announced financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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Over half have symptoms of major depression after COVID-19 (2021, March 15)
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