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Scientists have warned people who snore could be at higher risk of dying from the deadly coronavirus.
Evidence suggests those who sleep loudly could be more at risk of hospitalisation and death in the event of contracting the Covid-19 virus, they claim.
Scientists at the University of Warwick reviewed 18 studies investigating obstructive sleep apnoea and coronavirus.
The researchers discovered those who suffer from the condition had a greater likelihood of being hospitalised by the virus – and had a greater chance of mortality as a result.
The research also took into account that the condition is common to those who suffer from diabetes, obesity or high blood pressure – conditions which have also been linked to a higher hospitalisation and death rate among Covid-19 sufferers.
Dr Michelle Miller, who led the study, warned the MailOnline: “This is a group of patients that should be more aware that obstructive sleep apnoea could be an additional risk if they get Covid-19.
“Make sure you are compliant with your treatment and take as many precautions as you can to reduce your risk, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and getting tested as soon as you notice any symptoms.
“Now more than ever is the time to follow your treatment plan as diligently as possible.”
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She added: “It is likely that Covid-19 increases oxidative stress and inflammation and has effects on the bradykinin pathways (which normally helps to control blood pressure), all of which are also affected in obstructive sleep apnoea patients.
“When you have individuals in which these mechanisms are already affected, it wouldn’t be surprising that Covid-19 affects them more strongly.”
The research concluded sufferers of obstructive sleep apnoea could be 2.8 times more likely to die from coronavirus after researching a group of 1,300 diabetic patients.
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However the research also concluded that further study is required.
It is believed as many as 1.5 million people suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea in the UK.
The condition is the term for those who snore or choke in their sleep because the throat muscles relax and temporarily block the airways.
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Sufferers are then usually woken abruptly as the throat muscles relax to a point where the air supply to the lungs is cut off.
A dry mouth and sore throat can be symptoms of the condition as well.
Suffered are treated by being connected to a machine during sleep that maintains pressure in the airways.
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