after a Covid-19, sequelae on sleep and mental health

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The pandemic has increased people’s mental health problems. If the context is indisputably anxiety-provoking, it would seem that the virus itself could have an impact on our brain and trigger psychiatric illnesses.

the SARS-CoV-2 is definitely a virus very mysterious. At the start of the pandemicit appeared as a respiratory virus giving rise to a pathology asymptomatic in 80% of patients and can lead to serious forms in fragile patients such as the obese, the elderly, diabetics. We now know that it is much more complicated than that. First, there is the long Covid. Indeed, patients continue to experience symptoms, sometimes very disabling, several months after contamination. The Covid-19 could it actually be a chronic disease? Second, there are the sequels long-term, which can occur even in those who have had a mild form of the infection for only a few days.

Recently, a study showed that contamination with SARS-CoV-2 exposed to an increased risk of cardiac arrest (+61%) andstroke (+52%) in the following year. A publication of the prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) brings new data: sequelae on mental health have also been observed for at least a year.

Mental health consequences

The study of cohort included three groups:

  • group 1: 153,848 people who were infected with SARS-CoV-2. In the two years preceding the study, none of them had been diagnosed with a mental disorder or had taken psychiatric treatment;
  • group 2: a control group of people who did not a priori not been infected (n=5,637,840);
  • group 3: a control group formed before the pandemic (n=5,859,251).

Group 1 presented a higher risk of having anxiety disorders (+35%) and depressive disorders (+40%). Logically, this group had taken more antidepressants andanxiolytics (benzodiazepines). More worryingly, group 1 also had a higher risk of occurrence of cognitive declines and sleeping troubles (+41%).

Even in people who have had a mild form

People who required hospitalization had the most serious mental sequelae. And if these troubles came from a post-traumatic stress quite understandable? A priori no. The authors observed an increased risk of having mental health problems in patients hospitalized for Covid-19 compared to patients hospitalized for a cold severe or for any other cause. In addition, sequelae have also been observed in people who have had a mild form of the disease.

The authors conclude: It’s not just a respiratory virus. Indeed, if the symptoms focus on therespiratory early in the infection, it is now clear that SARS-CoV-2 is capable of causing damage to many other organs.

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