A new study has revealed that people who snore could be three times more likely to die from Covid-19 if they are admitted to hospital.
The study was published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews. University of Warwick scientists carried out a review of 18 studies into obstructive sleep apnoea and coronavirus, reports Daily Mail.
The scientists found those who suffer from the condition, which causes snoring and choking when the throat muscles relax and temporarily block the airway during sleep, are at greater risk of being hospitalised or dying from the virus.
The condition is most common in people suffering from diabetes, obesity or high blood pressure, which also increase their risk if they catch Covid-19.
As many as 1.5 million people are thought to suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea in the UK, and 85 percent of cases are said to be undiagnosed. In the US, 22 million people are estimated to suffer from the condition.
The scientists said that further research into the impact of obstructive sleep apnoea on Covid-19 patients is needed.
But the experts, led by Dr Michelle Miller, admitted it "wouldn't be surprising" if they suffered a negative impact.
Obstructive sleep apnoea is associated with other conditions, such as obesity, which are already known to increase the risk of coronavirus.
Dr Miller said, "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."
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."
Of the studies the experts examined, ten looked at obstructive sleep apnoea while eight investigated the risk of death from coronavirus.
One study in Diabetologia on 1,300 diabetics and sleep apnoea sufferers found their risk of death was 2.8 times greater after seven days in hospital.
The scientists warned that an estimated 85 percent of people with the condition are not diagnosed and said, if they are concerned, that they should contact their doctor.
The condition can repeatedly stop people from breathing during sleep when the throat muscles relax and cut off the air supply to the lungs, causing sufferers to snore loudly, awaken abruptly and suffer a dry mouth and sore throat.
Treatment includes being connected to a machine during sleep which maintains pressure in the airways.