HOUSTON(KIAH) A study funded by the National Institutes of Health found people who reported in a survey that they felt worried, depressed, or lonely had a greater chance of being hospitalized after a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Between April 2020 and April 2021, a little over 3,600 study participants tested positive for SAR-CoV-2 infection. Those who reported chronic (long-term) depression before the pandemic were 72% more likely to be hospitalized after their diagnosis with COVID-19.

The authors’ findings suggest that psychological risk factors may increase hospitalization risk as much as physical risk factors, such as high cholesterol and hypertension.