Coronavirus causes depression, anxiety, or other psychological problems no more frequently than other serious infections, the authors of a major study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry said.
Researchers at Oxford University found that rates of mental health problems were similar among people hospitalized with COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
They studied about 17,000 patients hospitalized with the pandemic virus in England between January 2020 and July 2021 and compared them to 32,000 people hospitalized with other respiratory infections between 2015 and 2020.
The results were compared with baseline rates of mental disorders among nearly 8 million people.
They found that survivors of severe coronavirus were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression a year after hospital discharge as the general population.
Meanwhile, those hospitalized with other serious infections, such as influenza and pneumonia, were three and a half times more likely to be depressed.