TUESDAY, Nov. 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Patients with psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and mood disorders, are less likely to test positive for COVID-19, but have increased COVID-19 mortality, according to a study published online Nov. 23 in JAMA Network Open.

Antonio L. Teixeira, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and colleagues assessed the odds of testing positive for and mortality from COVID-19 among and between patients with schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and a reference group with no major psychiatric conditions. A total of 2,535,098 unique individuals were included in the population studied, of whom 3,350 had schizophrenia, 26,610 had mood disorders, and 18,550 had anxiety disorders.

The researchers found that the rate of testing positive for COVID-19 in 2020 was significantly lower for the schizophrenia cohort and the mood disorder cohort than the anxiety disorder cohort (9.86 and 9.86 percent, respectively, versus 11.17 percent; odds ratios, 0.90 and 0.93, respectively), which was closer to the reference group (11.91 percent). Compared with the reference group, patients with schizophrenia were nearly four times more likely to die from COVID-19 after fully adjusting for demographic factors and comorbid conditions (odds ratio, 3.74). The odds of mortality were also increased for the mood disorders COVID-19 cohort and anxiety disorders cohort (odds ratios, 2.76 and 2.39, respectively).

“This study’s findings suggest the need to foster recognition of pandemic risks on specific groups of patients with psychiatric conditions, and may drive alternative approaches to COVID-19 disease testing and interventions to improve clinical outcomes,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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