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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Niels Peek
  • Andrè F. Carvalho
  • Marco Solmi
  • Brendon Stubbs

Abstract

People with severe mental illness (SMI; including schizophrenia/psychosis, bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD)) experience large disparities in physical health. Emerging evidence suggests this group experiences higher risks of infection and death from COVID-19, although the full extent of these disparities are not yet established. We investigated COVID-19 related infection, hospitalisation and mortality among people with SMI in the UK Biobank (UKB) cohort study. Overall, 447,296 participants from UKB (schizophrenia/psychosis=1,925, BD=1,483 and MDD=41,448, non-SMI=402,440) were linked with healthcare and death records. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to examine differences in COVID-19 outcomes by diagnosis, controlling for sociodemographic factors and comorbidities. In unadjusted analyses, higher odds of COVID-19 mortality were seen among people with schizophrenia/psychosis (odds ratio [OR] 4.84, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.00-7.34), BD (OR 3.76, 95% CI 2.00-6.35), and MDD (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.69-2.33) compared to people with no SMI. Higher odds of infection and hospitalisation were also seen across all SMI groups, particularly among people with schizophrenia/psychosis (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.32-1.96; OR 3.47, 95% CI 2.47-4.72) and BD (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.16-1.85; OR 3.31, 95% CI 2.22-4.73). In fully adjusted models, mortality and hospitalisation odds remained significantly higher among all SMI groups, though infection odds remained significantly higher only for MDD. People with schizophrenia/psychosis, BD and MDD have higher risks of COVID-19 infection, hospitalisation and mortality. Only a proportion of these disparities were accounted for by pre-existing demographic characteristics or comorbidities. Vaccination and preventive measures should be prioritized in these particularly vulnerable groups.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular psychiatry
Early online date7 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2021