Studies coming from a team of researchers in Iceland paint a less than positive picture for those with Obtrusive Sleep Apnea with conclusions being found that those that suffer from the problem are twice as likely to be faced with severe bouts of COVID-19.
Coming out of the CDC themselves after news broke surrounding the omicron variant and the consequent 95.4% of new infections from January of this year, the findings suggest that there is an increased risk to those with respiratory disorders, including OSA.
The numbers look somewhat alarming, with the initial study group consisting of data from 4,500 adults who caught COVID-19 through 2020. Of this group 185 reportedly had Sleep Apnea. From this sub-group and the larger group, the participants data points were then researched, comparing experiences of all parties in the study including those with Sleep Apnea, and those who do not suffer from it.
The findings and leading data points paint a gruelling picture whereby those suffering from Sleep Apnea experienced a two fold risk in severe COVID-19 reaction that ultimately resulted in bouts of hospitalization or dead.
Those same researchers hypothesize that the connection between the disease could be related to a heightened immune response that sees those with Sleep Apnea and low-grade inflammation as a result, trigger more severe immune responses surrounding COVID-19.
Other factors that could relate to the findings come from low blood oxygen levels, something frequently observed in those with Sleep Apnea. The low levels of blood oxygen already found within these patients is further exacerbated by COVID-19.
The good news and perhaps silver lining of the findings is that those who utilise a CPAP machine will potentially be able to mitigate some of the risk for more severe COVID-19 infections. The researches do however point to the need for further studies and research continues on COVID-19 and the risks for those with Sleep Apnea.