People with Sleep Disorders at High Risk of Severe COVID-19 Outcome

Insomnia, sleep problems, health care and bed sleep. Depressed young african american young woman lies on bed with blanket with open eyes, in dark bedroom interior, copy space, profile, panoramaNew research suggests that people who suffer from a sleep disorder have an increased risk for hospitalization and mortality caused by COVID-19. The study from Cleveland Clinic has found this relationship, noting that patients with sleep-disordered breathing and sleep-related hypoxia (sleep apnea) do not have an increased risk of developing COVID-19. Still, they do seem to have more severe outcomes from the disease.

The study published in JAMA Network Open was conducted to help improve the ability to predict who has a more severe illness so that healthcare workers can help those more at risk prevent severe symptoms.


Researchers believe this new information improved their understanding of the association between sleep disorders and the risk for adverse COVID-19 outcomes. The study concluded with a suggestion that biomarkers of inflammation may mediate the relationship between COVID-19 and sleep disorders.

Researchers used Cleveland Clinic’s COVID-19 research registry for the study, which includes data from nearly 360,000 patients tested for coronavirus. Out of these participants, 5,400 also had available sleep study records.

Researchers were able to examine the sleep study data and COVID-19 positivity to find disease severity. Co-morbidities were accounted for, such as heart and lung diseases, obesity, cancer, and smoking.

It was found that patients with a sleep disorder were 31% more likely to have severe COVID-19 symptoms leading to hospitalization or mortality.

Further Research

The study was able to set the stage for further analysis to identify whether effective early treatments such as PAP (positive airway pressure) or oxygen administration for those with sleep apnea can improve COVID-19 outcomes in patients with insomnia.

The first author of the study, Cinthya Pena Orbea, M.D. said, “Our findings have significant implications as decreased hospitalizations and mortality could reduce the strain on healthcare systems. 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.”

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.


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