November 15, 2021

Sleep disorders linked to more severe COVID-19 outcomes

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

In this study, Cleveland Clinic researchers find that patients with certain sleep disorders have more severe outcomes from COVID-19.

The analysis included 5,402 patients. Although patients with sleep-disordered breathing and sleep-related hypoxia did not have an increased risk of developing COVID-19, they had a worse clinical prognosis from the disease.


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Time-to-event analyses showed sleep-related hypoxia was associated with a 31% higher rate of hospitalization and mortality.

Percentage of total sleep time at <90% oxygen saturation was associated with increasing WHO-designated clinical outcomes (ie, hospitalization, use of supplemental oxygen, noninvasive ventilation, mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and death) COVID-19 ordinal scale scores.

If sleep-related hypoxia does indeed translate to worse COVID-19 outcomes, risk stratification strategies should be implemented to prioritize early allocation of COVID-19 therapy to these patients, the authors say.

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