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A very common affliction could lead to more deaths and hospitalization rates if the person is diagnosed with COVID-19.
New data suggest that a very common affliction could result in “more severe” outcomes of COVID-19, including 31% higher death and hospitalization rates.
The study, conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, and published in the JAMA Network this past Wednesday, found that people with sleep disorders have a worse clinical prognosis from the virus. According to the American Sleep Association, 50 to 70 million Americans have a sleeping disorder.
Researchers analyzed the data of over 5,000 of their patients and found that while sleep disorders didn’t increase the risk of getting COVID-19, they did increase the risk of having a worse outcome as the disease progresses.
“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 more severe illness so that we can appropriately allocate resources,” said Dr. Reena Mehra, director of Sleep Disorder Research at Cleveland Clinic, in a statement. “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.”
The link between sleep and worse COVID-19 prognosis isn’t fully understood, but it makes sense since sleep disorders have long had an influence on other diseases, increasing the odds of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, and more.
Further studies on sleep and COVID-19 could provide other options for treatments and perhaps save more lives. “If indeed sleep-related hypoxia translates to worse COVID-19 outcomes, risk stratification strategies should be implemented to prioritize early allocation of COVID-19 therapy to this subgroup of patients,” said Cynthia Pena Orbea, M.D., and lead author of the study.
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