Although many studies have pointed out a possible relationship between COVID-19 and the presence of psychiatric disorders, the majority of the studies have significant limitations. This study investigates the influence of COVID-19 infection on mental health.
This cross-sectional study included an age- and sex-matched sample of adult individuals positive (cases) or negative (controls) for COVID-19. We evaluated the presence of psychiatric conditions and C-reactive protein (CRP).
Findings showed greater severity of depressive symptoms, higher levels of stress, and greater CRP in cases. The severity of depressive and insomnia symptoms, as well as the CRP were more remarkable in individuals with moderate/severe COVID-19. We found a positive correlation between stress and severity of anxiety, depression, and insomnia in individuals with or without COVID-19. There was a positive correlation between CRP levels and severity of depressive symptoms in cases and controls, and a positive correlation between CRP levels and the severity of anxiety symptoms and stress levels only in individuals with COVID-19. Individuals with COVID-19 and depression had greater CRP than those with COVID-19 without current major depressive disorder.
We cannot infer causality because this is a cross-sectional study, and the majority of COVID-19 sample was asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, which may limit the generalizability of our findings for moderate/severe cases.
Individuals with COVID-19 showed greater severity of psychological symptoms, which may impact on the development of psychiatric disorders in the future. CPR seem to be a promising biomarker for earlier detection of post-COVID depression.

Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier B.V.