No significant association between COVID-19 diagnosis and the incidence of depression and anxiety disorder? A retrospective cohort study conducted in Germany
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 19:29 authored by Louis Jacob, Ai Koyanagi, Lee Smith, Jens Bohlken, Josep M. Haro, Karel Kostev
Little is known about the effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on mental health compared with other respiratory infections. Thus, the aim of this retrospective cohort study was to investigate whether COVID-19 diagnosis is associated with a significant increase in the incidence of depression and anxiety disorder in patients followed in general practices in Germany compared with acute upper respiratory infection diagnosis. This study included all patients diagnosed with symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 for the first time in 1198 general practices in Germany between March 2020 and May 2021. Patients diagnosed with acute upper respiratory infection were matched to those with COVID-19 using propensity scores based on sex, age, index month, and Charlson Comorbidity Index. The index date corresponded to the date on which either COVID-19 or acute upper respiratory infection was diagnosed. Differences in the incidence of depression and anxiety disorder between the COVID-19 and the acute upper respiratory infection group were studied using conditional Poisson regression models. This study included 56,350 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and 56,350 patients diagnosed with acute upper respiratory infection (52.3% women; mean [SD] age 43.6 [19.2] years). The incidence of depression (IRR = 1.02, 95% CI = 0.95–1.10) and anxiety disorder (IRR = 0.94, 95% CI = 0.83–1.07) was not significantly higher in the COVID-19 group than in the upper respiratory infection group. Compared with acute upper respiratory infection diagnosis, COVID-19 diagnosis was not associated with a significant increase in the incidence of depression and anxiety disorder in patients treated in general practices in Germany.
Publication titleJournal of Psychiatric Research
- Accepted version