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Health experts say sleep apnea could increase COVID-19 risks

Health experts say sleep apnea could increase COVID-19 risks
Health experts say sleep apnea could increase COVID-19 risks
Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 4:45 PM EST
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published November 17, 2020 at 10:08 PM EST - Updated November 18 at 12:12 AM on wtvm.com)

COLUMBUS, Ga. (Great Health Divide) - Sleep apnea could be a risk factor with people who have COVID-19.

The Chattahoochee Sleep Center said sleep apnea essentially causes breaks in berating or apneas while a person is asleep. If someone has an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea and tests positive for the virus, the risk could increase, according to research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. This could also lead to stay in the hospital.

“With COVID-19, you will find that people who have COVID and have the low oxygen levels get into trouble,” said Letitia Houston, PA clinical director.

“We do not want those patients to have to overburden a system that already is facing a large wave of COVID patients,” said Director Bryant Houston.

Since the pandemic hit, the Chattahoochee Sleep Center said it’s now starting to see an increase in patient referrals to undergo a sleep study for treatment of sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

Medical professionals like Houston said if someone is wearing a CPAP or breathing ventilator at night and they do have coronavirus, there is a lesser chance they will end up in the hospital since the machine helps regulate your breathing.

Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

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