According to a new study, during the first wave of the pandemic in the UK, People who have difficulty in learning died due to covid at a rate of 9 times higher when compared to normal people, worsening existing inequalities.
A study which was published in the journal The Lancet Regional Health Europe on Thursday reveals people with nine different mental health conditions and intellectual disabilities experienced higher mortality from Covid-19 during the period, exacerbating longstanding inequalities with the general population.
The Covid Is Causing More Deaths Amongst With Learning Difficulties
Various Researchers analyzed that there would be more than 160,000 deaths in the UK between March-June 2020
It was also found that deaths from Covid-19 among people with eating disorders were nearly five times higher than the general population, and four times higher among those with personality disorders and those with dementia. According to the study, deaths were three times higher for those with schizophrenia.
“It was a substantial increase,” lead study author Jayati Das-Munshi, from the Social and Psychiatric Epidemiology department at King’s College London, told CNN.
“We weren’t expecting the death rate to improve, definitely not, but we had no idea that it would get worsen to this extent. It was really shocking
According to various researches, Nine mental health conditions and intellectual disabilities were assessed to determine the mortality rate among them, as well as by ethnicity.
Das Munshi said the mortality rate for all of the ethnic groups represented in the sample was high during the period.
A study reveals, in the second quarter of 2020, the mortality rate among people with dementia and learning disabilities was more than double when compared to the equivalent quarter of 2019.
Further, it states, The risk of death was more among those with substance use disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and other mental health conditions.
Healthcare Professionals have been aware of this problem for decades said Das-Munshi.
“There is a common concern which was then further exacerbated by the pandemic, that there is a difference between the care given to the patients with physical and mental health conditions. people with mental health conditions are not provided the same quality of care as the people with physical illness get.
Mortality rates gradually decreased from July 2020 as the Covid surge was under control and the cases decreased which led to ease in lockdown protocols. However, the rates were still double that of the general population, a similar situation to before the pandemic hit.
Das-Munshi said, about two-thirds of deaths among people with mental health conditions are due to preventable physical conditions that could be managed better, such as diabetes.
Some of these underlying conditions are also linked to worse outcomes from Covid-19 infection, she added.
Das-Munshi said We need to think about improving the situation and prevent any further increase in mortality rates, we are planning to enhance the access to preventative health interventions.
This could be enhancing access to various diseases that can be managed or cured through some preventive measures such as managing cardiovascular disease to cancer screening, offering smoking cessation and vaccinations, encouraging people to get vaccinated.