Mental illness linked with severe COVID-19 cases: CDC

·2 min read

An individual is at greater risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19 if they suffer from mental health problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a report on Oct. 14, the CDC said "mental health conditions," such as mood disorders or schizophrenia, increase an individual's chances of requiring a ventilator, being hospitalized, or dying from the disease.

Individuals with severe mental disorders are at higher risk of developing a severe case of coronavirus, according to a report that cited two studies. However, it's unclear how these mental health issues affect the severity of the illness.


Patients with schizophrenia are at a greater risk of dying from COVID-19, according to a January study from the Journal of the American Medical Association. Another study by the same group showed people with mood disorders are at "significantly higher odds" of being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19.

Workers in the field of mental healthcare have called on the CDC to include mental illness in the conditions that make an individual susceptible to severe cases of COVID-19, FOX23 reported.

Sixteen groups issued a letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, calling for an "immediate and urgent response" to include mental health on the organization's list.

"Our organizations hope that the CDC will seize this opportunity to demonstrate that individuals with these conditions are not invisible and deserve the consideration afforded to those living with other conditions appropriately identified on the CDC's list," the letter read.

The CDC's inclusion of mental health disorders on the list is critical in emphasizing the connection between mental health and physical health, said Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, assistant secretary for mental health and substance abuse in the Department of Health and Human Services.

"CDC's recent inclusion of certain mental health conditions that can contribute to the severity of a COVID-19 infection reinforces the plight faced by Americans with behavioral health issues, including substance use disorders," Delphin-Rittmon said.


Roughly 20 million people in the United States are diagnosed with mood disorders, with more than 2.6 million adults having schizophrenia, according to the report.

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Tags: News, Mental Health, Studies, CDC, Coronavirus

Original Author: Luke Gentile

Original Location: Mental illness linked with severe COVID-19 cases: CDC

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