As the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of slowing down, more and more studies of high-risk populations are getting some much deserved attention. Upon recent studies, patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have a greater risk of contracting the deadly COVID-19 disease. OSA is an intermittent blockage of airflow during sleep. Too much attack on the respiratory system could lead to hospitalization and/or respiratory failure. 

Where to begin with the studies?

During this particular study, researchers gathered data from the Northwestern Medicine system which covers 10 hospitals in the Chicago metropolitan area. This data spanned from January of 2020 to June of 2020.

With certain specifics such as age and BMI, researchers narrowed down their search group. They evaluated risks for COVID-19, hospitalization, and respiratory failure associated with OSA. 

The results are in

After the study, researchers got to work analyzing the relationship between COVID-19 and OSA. Over 5.5 million records were analyzed, with 9,405 COVID-19 infections.

This finding showed that a greater portion of the people were male, Black, and had been diagnosed with OSA. Those with OSA required more hospitalization than those who did not. 

How do we trust the numbers? 

The studies show that those with OSA are at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19, oftentimes resulting in hospitalization and respiratory failure. It is important to note that OSA is highly underdiagnosed.

The numbers may be even higher, but symptoms can go unnoticed. During the pandemic, there is such a thing as “healthcare avoidance behaviors” which could also be a part of the data or lack thereof. With any study, there are variables.  

Concluding the study

Upon completion of the study, those with OSA are most definitely at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 and requiring hospitalization. As we know, both OSA and COVID-19 directly affect the respiratory system. The combination of these two diseases is detrimental, and should be taken very seriously.

COVID-19 has become an unfortunate and devastating part of our lives, and it is important to take every precaution you can to prevent the spread. Talk to your doctor today to address any high-risk factors you may be facing. 

Contact us at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions to learn more about how we can help you find sleep apnea relief.