FRIDAY, March 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Pre-COVID-19 psychotropic medication use is associated with higher risk for incident dementia following hospitalization for COVID-19 (post-COVID dementia) in older adults, according to a study published online March 18 in Frontiers in Medicine.

Yun Freudenberg-Hua, M.D., from the Zucker Hillside Hospital at Northwell Health in Glen Oaks, New York, and colleagues investigated the association between pre-COVID psychotropic medication use and one-year incidence of dementia in 1,755 patients (≥65 years) hospitalized with COVID-19.

The researchers found that the one-year incidence rate of post-COVID dementia was 12.7 percent. Pre-COVID psychotropic medications (odds ratio [OR], 2.7) and delirium (OR, 3.0) were significantly associated with higher one-year incidence of post-COVID dementia. When analysis was restricted to 423 patients with at least one documented neurological or psychiatric diagnosis at the time of COVID-19 admission, the association between psychotropic medications and incident dementia remained robust (OR, 3.09). The greatest associations with post-COVID dementia across different drug classes were seen for antipsychotics (OR, 2.8) and mood stabilizers/anticonvulsants (OR, 2.4).

“It is important to note that this study is no way recommending people should stop taking antipsychotics, but simply that clinicians need to factor in a patient’s medication history while considering post-COVID after effects,” Freudenberg-Hua said in a statement.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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