(HealthDay News) — People living with severe mental illness (SMI) experienced substantial inequalities in mortality outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published in the November issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Jayati Das-Munshi, PhD., from King’s College London, and colleagues examined associations between COVID and death in people with SMI (February 2020 to April 2021). The analysis included 7,146 individuals with SMI and 653,024 primary care patients without SMI.
The researchers found that following COVID infection, the SMI group experienced a greater risk for death compared with controls (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.53). Death from COVID was more likely among Black Caribbean/Black African people than White people (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.22), with similar associations seen in the SMI group and non-SMI group. For every additional multimorbidity condition, the adjusted hazard ratios for death following COVID infection were 1.06 in the SMI group and 1.16 in the non-SMI group.
“These are stark findings and highlight the health inequalities that exist for people living with severe mental illness, people from racialized groups, and people from different regions of the country,” Das-Munshi said in a statement. “The pandemic shone a light on these inequalities, and we must learn from this to develop new policies and improve service provision.”
One author disclosed financial ties to Janssen, GSK, and Takeda.