Sleep disorders can contribute to COVID-19 hospitalizations, deaths

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — People who suffer from certain sleep disorders are at risk for severe side effects when infected with COVID-19, a new study reveals.  

Research at the Cleveland Clinic analyzed data from 5,400 patients with sleep disorders including sleep apnea and sleep hypoxia. Sleep apnea is when a person periodically stops breathing while asleep; sleep hypoxia is when a person struggles to breath while sleeping, which leads to low levels of oxygen in the blood. 

They found these individuals had a 31% higher rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. 

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the disease remains highly variable from patient to patient, it is critical to improve our ability to predict who will have a more severe illness so that we can appropriately allocate resources,” lead study author, Dr. Reena Mehra, said in a news release

Mehra goes on to say their findings have set the stage for additional studies to identify if early oxygen therapies should be administered at the onset of infection in these patients.