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JAMA Netw Open ; 4(11): e2134803, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1516698


Importance: Infection with SARS-CoV-2 is associated with fatigue and sleep problems long after the acute phase of COVID-19. In addition, there are concerns of SARS-CoV-2 infection causing psychiatric illness; however, evidence of a direct effect is inconclusive. Objective: To assess risk of risk of incident or repeat psychiatric illness, fatigue, or sleep problems following SARS-CoV-2 infection and to analyze changes according to demographic subgroups. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study assembled matched cohorts using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink Aurum, a UK primary care registry of 11 923 499 individuals aged 16 years or older. Patients were followed-up for up to 10 months, from February 1 to December 9, 2020. Individuals with less than 2 years of historical data or less than 1 week follow-up were excluded. Individuals with positive results on a SARS-CoV-2 test without prior mental illness or with anxiety or depression, psychosis, fatigue, or sleep problems were matched with up to 4 controls based on sex, general practice, and year of birth. Controls were individuals who had negative SARS-CoV-2 test results. Data were analyzed from January to July 2021. Exposure: SARS-CoV-2 infection, determined via polymerase chain reaction testing. Main Outcomes and Measures: Cox proportional hazard models estimated the association between a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result and subsequent psychiatric morbidity (depression, anxiety, psychosis, or self-harm), sleep problems, fatigue, or psychotropic prescribing. Models adjusted for comorbidities, ethnicity, smoking, and body mass index. Results: Of 11 923 105 eligible individuals (6 011 020 [50.4%] women and 5 912 085 [49.6%] men; median [IQR] age, 44 [30-61] years), 232 780 individuals (2.0%) had positive result on a SARS-CoV-2 test. After applying selection criteria, 86 922 individuals were in the matched cohort without prior mental illness, 19 020 individuals had prior anxiety or depression, 1036 individuals had psychosis, 4152 individuals had fatigue, and 4539 individuals had sleep problems. After adjusting for observed confounders, there was an association between positive SARS-CoV-2 test results and psychiatric morbidity (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.83; 95% CI, 1.66-2.02), fatigue (aHR, 5.98; 95% CI, 5.33-6.71), and sleep problems (aHR, 3.16; 95% CI, 2.64-3.78). However, there was a similar risk of incident psychiatric morbidity for those with a negative SARS-CoV-2 test results (aHR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.65-1.77) and a larger increase associated with influenza (aHR, 2.98; 95% CI, 1.55-5.75). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of individuals registered at an English primary care practice during the pandemic, there was consistent evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with increased risk of fatigue and sleep problems. However, the results from the negative control analysis suggest that unobserved confounding may be responsible for at least some of the positive association between COVID-19 and psychiatric morbidity.

COVID-19/complications , Fatigue/etiology , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , Psychotropic Drugs/therapeutic use , Sleep Wake Disorders/etiology , Sleep , Adult , Anxiety/drug therapy , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Depression/drug therapy , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/etiology , England/epidemiology , Fatigue/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Primary Health Care , Psychotic Disorders/drug therapy , Psychotic Disorders/epidemiology , Psychotic Disorders/etiology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Sleep Wake Disorders/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology
EClinicalMedicine ; 41: 101175, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487700


Background: Surveillance of temporal trends in clinically treated self-harm is an important component of suicide prevention in the dynamic context of COVID-19. There is little evidence beyond the initial months following the onset of the pandemic, despite national and regional restrictions persisting to mid-2021. Methods: Descriptive time series analysis utilizing de-identified, primary care health records of 2.8 million patients from the Greater Manchester Care Record. Frequencies of self-harm episodes between 1st January 2019 and 31st May 2021 were examined, including stratification by sex, age group, ethnicity, and index of multiple deprivation quintile. Findings: There were 33,444 episodes of self-harm by 13,148 individuals recorded during the study period. Frequency ratios of incident and all episodes of self-harm were 0.59 (95% CI 0.51 to 0.69) and 0.69 (CI 0.63 to 0.75) respectively in April 2020 compared to February 2020. Between August 2020 and May 2021 frequency ratios were 0.92 (CI 0.88 to 0.96) for incident episodes and 0.86 (CI 0.84 to 0.88) for all episodes compared to the same months in 2019. Reductions were largest among men and people living in the most deprived neighbourhoods, while an increase in all-episode self-harm was observed for adolescents aged 10-17. Interpretation: Reductions in primary care-recorded self-harm persisted to May 2021, though they were less marked than in April 2020 during the first national lockdown. The observed reductions could represent longer term reluctance to seek help from health services. Our findings have implications for the ability for services to offer recommended care for patients who have harmed themselves.

Lancet Public Health ; 6(2): e124-e135, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118741


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected population mental health. We aimed to assess temporal trends in primary care-recorded common mental illness, episodes of self-harm, psychotropic medication prescribing, and general practitioner (GP) referrals to mental health services during the COVID-19 emergency in the UK. METHODS: We did a population-based cohort study using primary care electronic health records from general practices registered on the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). We included patient records from Jan 1, 2010, to Sept 10, 2020, to establish long-term trends and patterns of seasonality, but focused primarily on the period January, 2019-September, 2020. We extracted data on clinical codes entered into patient records to estimate the incidence of depression and anxiety disorders, self-harm, prescriptions for antidepressants and benzodiazepines, and GP referrals to mental health services, and assessed event rates of all psychotropic prescriptions and self-harm. We used mean-dispersion negative binomial regression models to predict expected monthly incidence and overall event rates, which were then compared with observed rates to assess the percentage reduction in incidence and event rates after March, 2020. We also stratified analyses by sex, age group, and practice-level Index of Multiple Deprivation quintiles. FINDINGS: We identified 14 210 507 patients from 1697 UK general practices registered in the CPRD databases. In April, 2020, compared with expected rates, the incidence of primary care-recorded depression had reduced by 43·0% (95% CI 38·3-47·4), anxiety disorders by 47·8% (44·3-51·2), and first antidepressant prescribing by 36·4% (33·9-38·8) in English general practices. Reductions in first diagnoses of depression and anxiety disorders were largest for adults of working age (18-44 and 45-64 years) and for patients registered at practices in more deprived areas. The incidence of self-harm was 37·6% (34·8-40·3%) lower than expected in April, 2020, and the reduction was greatest for women and individuals aged younger than 45 years. By September, 2020, rates of incident depression, anxiety disorder, and self-harm were similar to expected levels. In Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, rates of incident depression and anxiety disorder remained around a third lower than expected to September, 2020. In April, 2020, the rate of referral to mental health services was less than a quarter of the expected rate for the time of year (75·3% reduction [74·0-76·4]). INTERPRETATION: Consequences of the considerable reductions in primary care-recorded mental illness and self-harm could include more patients subsequently presenting with greater severity of mental illness and increasing incidence of non-fatal self-harm and suicide. Addressing the effects of future lockdowns and longer-term impacts of economic instability on mental health should be prioritised. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research and Medical Research Council.

COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Self-Injurious Behavior/therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Cohort Studies , Databases, Factual , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Self-Injurious Behavior/epidemiology , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult