Excess deaths in people with mental health conditions increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Note that they improved as lockdowns eased.
The greater number of deaths amongst those with mental health conditions and intellectual disabilities has been amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic, a study based on more than 160,000 patients has revealed.
Before the pandemic the rates of mortality in those with severe mental health conditions were already higher than the general population. New research published in The Lancet Regional Health—Europe shows that between March and June 2020, during the first wave of COVID-19, mortality further increased in people with mental health conditions and intellectual disabilities compared with the general population.
The study was published in the run up to World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2021 which this year has the theme ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’.
Deaths from COVID-19 among those with learning disabilities were nine times higher than the general population during the first lockdown period, according to the study, and for those with eating disorders almost five times higher. For those with personality disorders and those with dementia, deaths from COVID-19 were about four times higher than the general population and more than three times higher in people with schizophrenia.
The research was part-funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and used the Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) system to analyze anonymised data from clinical e-records of patients from South London.
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