Association between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and COVID-19 severity

Oria Nassi-Liberman, Bernice Oberman, Tamar Strahl, Noga Yosef, Dekel Shlomi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obstructive sleep apnea and sleep-related hypoxia have been associated with higher rates of hospitalization and mortality among patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We further explored the association between obstructive sleep apnea, COVID-19 severity and related mortality. In addition, we examined the effects of clinical and demographic parameters on COVID-19. In this retrospective study, we included adult patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19 prior to the Omicron variant identification. We compared the severity of COVID-19 and mortality with the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. The study population included 44,275 patients who tested positive for COVID-19. Of these, 97% had mild or asymptomatic disease, 1.2% had moderate disease, and 1.8% had severe disease. Obstructive sleep apnea was diagnosed in 980 (2.2%) patients. In a multivariate analysis, obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis increased the risk of severe COVID-19 by 1.6 (95% confidence interval: 1.1–2.4) compared with mild disease. However, no increase in mortality was associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Interestingly, patients with moderate and high socioeconomic status had a 1.6 times higher risk for severe COVID-19 than patients from the low socioeconomic status group (95% confidence interval: 1.2–2.1 and 95% confidence interval: 1.1–2.3, respectively). The risk of dying due to COVID-19 was 1.6 (95% confidence interval: 1.1–2.5) and 3.1 (95% confidence interval: 1.8–5.3) times higher in patients with medium and high socioeconomic status, respectively, compared with patients with low socioeconomic status. Diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea was found to be an independent risk factor for severe COVID-19. The higher the socioeconomic status, the higher the risk of severe COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • COVID-19
  • continuous positive airway pressure
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • vaccine


Dive into the research topics of 'Association between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and COVID-19 severity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this