Schizophrenia 2nd greatest risk factor for COVID-19 death, study finds

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People with schizophrenia are nearly three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those without the psychiatric condition, according to a study published Jan. 27 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Researchers at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City analyzed patient records for 7,348 adults COVID-19 patients treated at NYU Langone Health between March 3 and May 21, 2020. Fourteen percent of patients were diagnosed with schizophrenia, mood disorders or anxiety.

Researchers found people with schizophrenia had a 2.7 times higher chance of dying, representing the second-largest risk factor behind age. People ages 75 and older had a 35.7 times higher risk of death. Patients with mood or anxiety disorders did not have a higher death risk, researchers said. 

"Our findings illustrate that people with schizophrenia are extremely vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19," lead author Katlyn Nemani, MD, a research assistant professor in the psychiatry department at NYU Langone Health, said in a news release. "With this newfound understanding, healthcare providers can better prioritize vaccine distribution, testing and medical care for this group."

More articles on patient safety and outcomes:

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