According to the largest study in the world on psychiatry and coronavirus, adults who have a history of mental health illness are two times more likely to die from COVID-19, as opposed to other people infected with the virus. The study was conducted in Israel and has been peer-reviewed. It used the anonymous medical records of about 125,273 people in Israel who were 18 and above and had been hospitalized because of psychiatric illness. The study was published in the journal named Molecular Psychology. The research shows that the risk of serious outcomes is higher from the coronavirus, even if it has been years since they were hospitalized.
Not only are these people twice as likely to die due to the coronavirus, but they are also twice as likely to get hospitalized. Sheba Medical Center’s director of the Psychiatric Division, Prof. Mark Weiser said that there were significant implications of this research on public health. This indicates that doctors need to pay close attention to those who have a history of mental illness once they test positive for the coronavirus. He is the study’s lead researcher. It should be noted that no other country is conducted a study on a national scale that is looking at the coronavirus in relation to all people in the country who are suffering from some kind of psychiatric illness.
According to Weiser, the results of the study are relevant internationally. He also highlighted that the authorities need to take these results into account and come up with strategies that can help in reducing the impact of the virus on these people. He also stated that the increase in risk is partly because there are some lifestyle factors that are usually associated with patients suffering from psychiatric illness. These include not keeping their health appointments, smoking, and obesity as well as reduced rates of exercise and some other healthy lifestyle habits.
However, he stressed that there were also specific factors related to COVID-19 that also played a role. For instance, he said that Israelis who have a history of mental illness have 25% lower rates of vaccination as compared to the general population. He stated that the findings of the study indicated there was a need to take special measures for public health in order to vaccinate these patients. This is because most of them are not willing to get vaccinated on their own.
In the study, Weiser, along with his colleagues, asserted that they need to make efforts in order to contact any individuals who are known for a history of hospitalization due to a mental condition. He said that this was particularly true for older males who are suffering from schizophrenia because they are less likely to get vaccination done and also have a higher risk of mortality. This is the latest study that has been conducted in Israel over the effects of COVID-19 and a number of others have also been done to assess the impact of the virus on public health.