It turns out that ginning up a lot of fear and worry about Covid-19 wasn't a great idea after all. Whodathunkit?
A new study shows that those who experienced increased stress, loneliness, and anxiety prior to getting the virus were more likely to experience long Covid symptoms than those who were not.
The study published in the JAMA Psychiatry Journal found,
…preinfection psychological distress was associated with risk of post – COVID-19 conditions and daily life impairment in those with post – COVID-19 conditions.
In plain speak: If you were worried about getting Covid, you were more likely to get sicker for longer.
Because many in the study reported having depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions, researchers controlled for more psychological symptoms like brain fog. They found that those who experienced psychological distress prior to getting Covid were more likely to experience physical long Covid symptoms like shortness of breath or a persistent cough.
The results showed that people who reported psychological distress before they got infected had a 32% to 46% increased risk of long Covid, compared to people who did not report such distress. And those who reported high levels of two or more types of psychological distress, such as both depression and anxiety, had a 50% increased risk.
The association this study found between psychosocial distress and long Covid is more significant than the association between long Covid and obesity, hypertension, or asthma.
An author of the study, Andrea Roberts, a senior research scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said that,
"The factors that we identified are more strongly associated with risk of long Covid than pretty much anything else anyone's found."
That's a pretty amazing risk factor. So, yes, I'm taking this to mean that those people who are still driving alone in the car with a mask on in September 2022, they're at greater risk than all of us.
P.S. Now check out our latest video: "Highlights from Biden's speech last night" 👇