Sleep disorder linked to severe outcomes from Covid-19

Wednesday 17th November 2021 05:53 EST

A new research shows a 31 per cent increased risk for hospitalisation and mortality in patients with sleep-disordered breathing and sleep-related hypoxia. Findings of the study were published in the journal JAMA Network Open. The research team analyses retrospective data from 5,400 Cleveland Clinic patients. Findings showed that while patients with sleep-disordered breathing and sleep-related hypoxia do not have an increased risk of developing Covid-19, they have a worse clinical prognosis from the disease.

Dr Reena Mehra, MD, who led the team, said, “As the Covid-19 pandemic continues and the disease remains highly variable from patient to patient, it is critical to improving our ability to predict who will have a more severe illness so that we can appropriately allocate resources.”

She said, “This study improved our understanding of the association between sleep disorders and the risk for adverse Covid-19 outcomes. It suggests biomarkers of inflammation may mediate this relationship.” Researchers used the Cleveland Clinic’s Covid-19 research registry, which included data from nearly 360,000 patients tested for Covid-19 at Cleveland Clinic.

They assessed the sleep study findings and Covid-19 positivity were assessed along with disease severity, and also accounted for comorbidities such as obesity, heart and lung disease, cancer and smoking. First author of the study Cinthya Pena Orbea, MD, said, “Our findings have significant implications as decreased hospitalisations and mortality could reduce the strain on healthcare systems.”

They added, “If indeed sleep-related hypoxia translates to worse Covid-19 outcomes, risk stratification strategies should be implemented to prioritize the early allocation of Covid-19 therapy to this subgroup of patients.”

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