Disparities in COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death in people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder: A cohort study of the UK Biobank

Molecular PsychiatryHassan L, Peek N, Lovell K, et al. | December 08, 2021


Findings demonstrate higher risks of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and mortality among people with schizophrenia/psychosis, bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). Merely a proportion of these differences were accounted for by preexisting demographic features or comorbidities. Vaccination and prophylactic strategies should be prioritized in these particularly vulnerable groups.

  • In this study with 447,296 participants from UK Biobank, experts inquired COVID-19 related infection, hospitalization and mortality in people with severe mental illness (SMI) (schizophrenia/psychosis = 1,925, BD = 1,483 and MDD = 41,448, non-SMI = 402,440).

  • Unadjusted analyses revealed that people with schizophrenia/psychosis, BD, and MDD had higher odds of COVID-19 mortality, with odds ratios (ORs) 4.84, 3.76, and 1.99, respectively, vs people with no SMI.

  • Across all SMI groups, there were higher odds of infection and hospitalisation but especially in those with schizophrenia/psychosis (OR 1.61 and 3.47) and BD (OR 1.48 and 3.31).

  • Fully adjusted models showed significantly higher odds of mortality and hospitalisation in all SMI groups, though infection odds continued to be significantly higher only for MDD.

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