Patients with obstructive sleep apnea could have an increased risk for adverse COVID-19 outcomes, according to a systematic review published in Sleep Medicine Reviews.
However, researchers said more studies are needed to determine whether obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an independent risk factor or “simply a comorbidity that is associated with COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.”
The researchers found that OSA shares risk factors and comorbidities associated with negative COVID-19 outcomes, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. They cited the recent CORONADO study that revealed patients with OSA who were hospitalized for COVID-19 had an increased risk for mortality on day 7 of admission (OR = 2.80). The researchers also found “plausible mechanisms” for OSA to independently increase a patient’s risk for morbidity and mortality, including obesity — which may worsen hypoxemia and cytokine storm worse — and low vitamin D levels.