Sleep disorders linked to more severe outcomes from COVID-19: Study
A new research has shown a 31 per cent increased risk for hospitalisation and mortality in patients with sleep-disordered breathing and sleep-related hypoxia.
The findings of the study were published in the journal 'JAMA Network Open'.
The research team, led by Reena Mehra, MD, analysed retrospective data from 5,400 Cleveland Clinic patients.
The 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.
"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," said Dr Mehra, director of Sleep Disorder Research at Cleveland Clinic.
"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," said Dr Mehra.
Researchers used Cleveland Clinic's COVID-19 research registry, which includes data from nearly 360,000 patients tested for COVID-19 at Cleveland Clinic, of which 5,400 had an available sleep study record.
Sleep study findings and COVID-19 positivity were assessed along with disease severity. The team also accounted for co-morbidities such as obesity, heart and lung disease, cancer and smoking.
The findings set the stage for additional studies to identify whether early effective treatments such as PAP (positive airway pressure) or oxygen administration can improve COVID-19 outcomes.
"Our findings have significant implications as decreased hospitalisations and mortality could reduce the strain on healthcare systems," said the first author of the study Cinthya Pena Orbea, MD, of Cleveland Clinic's Sleep Disorders Center.
"If indeed sleep-related hypoxia translates to worse COVID-19 outcomes, risk stratification strategies should be implemented to prioritise the early allocation of COVID-19 therapy to this subgroup of patients," Orbea added.
The study was funded by a Neuroscience Transformative Research Resource Development Award that was given to Dr Mehra.