Poor Sleep History Linked With More Severe COVID-19

By Reuters Staff

June 24, 2021

(Reuters) - Poor sleep habits may be linked with higher risk for severe illness in patients with COVID-19, according to Harvard University researchers.

They analyzed survey responses from more than 46,000 participants in the long-term UK Biobank study, including 8,422 who tested positive for COVID-19. Participants had answered questions from 2006 to 2010 about sleep duration, daytime sleepiness, insomnia and body clocks. For the new study, based on their responses, the researchers assigned scores ranging from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating multiple poor sleep "traits."

In participants with COVID-19, poor scores were associated with higher odds of death. This was true even after researchers accounted for issues known to be risk factors for poor COVID-19 outcomes such as sleep apnea, obesity and smoking, they reported on Friday in the journal Sleep.

Even people with two occasional or one frequent poor sleep trait appeared to experience higher risks for hospitalization and death, although the difference was not statistically significant and more study is needed to confirm the finding, the researchers said.

Poor sleep affects the immune system and blood clotting, both of which are key to the body's fight against COVID-19, and "tracking sleep behavior may have importance in identifying those at increased risk for COVID-19 mortality and hospitalization," the authors said.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2Ut2MUB Sleep, online June 18, 2021.

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