Top 5 Most-Read Sleep Articles of 2021

The top 5 most-read sleep articles of 2021 on AJMC.com covered emerging therapies in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and idiopathic hypersomnia, the effects of antidepressant use on rapid-eye movement sleep, and the sleep-related effects of COVID-19.

The most-read sleep articles on AJMC.com for 2021 included a Priority Review designation by the FDA for what later became the first treatment approved in idiopathic hypersomnia, sleep-related risk factors associated with COVID-19, and how antidepressant use may impair sleep latency and quality of life.

Here are the 5 most-viewed sleep pieces of 2021:

5. FDA Grants Priority Review for Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ Xywav in Idiopathic Hypersomnia

Earlier this year, FDA granted Priority Review to Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ Xywav (calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium oxybates) oral solution for the treatment of adults with idiopathic hypersomnia. ​​Already approved for the treatment of cataplexy or excessive daytime sleepiness in patients 7 years and older with narcolepsy, data showed Xywav met its clinically meaningful improvements in its primary endpoint of Epworth Sleepiness Scale and secondary endpoints of Patient Global Impression of Change and Idiopathic Hypersomnia Severity Scale.

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4. Antidepressant Use Linked With Impaired REM Sleep, Quality of Life

An abstract presented at the CHEST 2021 Annual Meeting indicated that antidepressant use was associated with increased rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep latency and a complete lack of REM sleep, in which those affected showed worse quality of life scores than controls. In addition to antidepressant use, independent risk factors for impaired REM sleep included age and incidence of hypertension and chronic kidney disease.

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3. Obstructive Sleep Apnea Linked With Higher Risk of COVID-19 Hospitalization, Complications

An analysis of patients from Finland indicated that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an independent risk factor for severe COVID-19 resulting in hospitalization. With the sleep condition having already been linked with known risk factors of poor COVID-19 outcomes, such as body mass index and diabetes, findings showed that more than 1 in 5 patients with OSA had severe cases of COVID-19, with these patients found to be at more than 2-fold increased risk of hospitalization.

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2. FDA Clears First Daytime Treatment Device for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

A prescription tongue muscle stimulation device, called eXciteOSA, was granted approval by the FDA through the de novo regulatory pathway for the treatment of mild OSA and snoring in patients 18 and older. As potentially the first device to improve tongue muscle function while awake, three-fourths of the patient cohort treated with eXciteOSA were associated with a more than 20% reduction in the percent of time spent snoring at levels louder than 40dB, the noise level at which snoring begins to impact sleep.

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1. Sleep Difficulties, Muscle Weakness May Persist 6 Months After COVID-19

More than 1 in 4 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China were shown to exhibit symptoms of fatigue, muscle weakness, and sleep difficulties after 6 months. With greater than 75% of patients reporting at least 1 persistent symptom, those who presented with more severe illness during their hospital stay reported more severe impaired pulmonary diffusion capacities and abnormal chest imaging manifestations.

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