The study focused on the register information of COVID-19 patients who were admitted to Turku University Hospital during the first wave of the pandemic in the spring 2020. Southwest Finland, with a population of 480,000, managed the first wave of the pandemic with a relatively small number of infected people. Patients with a positive test result amounted to 278 individuals. From the infected patients, 28 were admitted to hospital care at Turku University Hospital by 3 May 2020. The register information of these patients was studied with the aim to unravel the risks for the severe form of COVID-19 and the need for intensive care.
The comparison of the register information revealed that 29 percent of the patients admitted to hospital care had already been diagnosed with sleep apnea. The number is significant, as only 3.1 percent of the population of Southwest Finland is getting treatment for sleep apnea. Even though the total number of patients in the study was low, the share of sleep apnea patients was high. The extent of sleep apnea among the patients cannot only be explained by the obesity often met in sleep apnea patients, being one of the already known risk factors for severe COVID-19.
The research article has been published in Sleep Medicine and Disorders International Journal (SMDIJ).
Release date: 13 November 2020
Source: University of Turku