Is asthma an independent risk factor for COVID-19?
Is asthma an independent risk factor for COVID-19?

Is asthma an independent risk factor for COVID-19?

Asthma may be a risk factor for severe COVID-19, according to a recent study by Kaiser Permanente Northern California, which examined the incidence of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and severity in asthma patients during 2020. The results of the study are presented by American Association of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) 2022 Annual Meeting, Held in Phoenix, Arizona, February 25-28.

To address the limited knowledge about asthma as a risk factor for COVID-19, the researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study that enrolled a cohort of asthma patients (n = 41,282) and a matched control cohort of adults (n = 41,282) of similar age, sex, and race / ethnicity (average age 55 [±16] years; 63% women; 55% white individuals). Using electronic health records, the researchers collected data on demographics, clinical factors, comorbidities, polymerase chain reaction COVID-19 test, hospitalizationand inpatient COVID-19 treatment.

The investigators found that asthma was inversely associated with having a positive COVID-19 test (8.7% vs. 9.4% positive among those tested; OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82-0, 99; P = .03) after adjustment for age, sex, race or ethnicity, BMI, smoking, Neighborhood Deprivation Index and comorbidities. Asthma was not related to COVID-19 hospitalization (2.9 vs. 1.4 per 1000 individuals; OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.96-1.12; P = .32) after adjustment for the same covariates. Asthma was positively associated with a composite outcome that included COVID-19-related intensive care unit (ICU) hospitalization, intubation, or remdesivir treatment (2.5 vs. 1.0 per 1000 subjects; OR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.28-2.81; P = .001) after adjustment for the same covariates.

“Asthma was associated with lower odds of COVID-19 infection, was not independently associated with increased risk of hospitalization for COVID-19, but was independently associated with ICU admission / intubation / Remdesivir treatment, suggesting that asthma may be a risk factor for severe COVID-19 -19, ”the authors wrote.

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Reference

Finkas LK, Block L, Lu M, et al. Retrospective analysis of COVID-19 incidence and health outcomes among patients with asthma in a large integrated healthcare system. Presented at: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) 2022 Annual Meeting; 25.-28. February 2022; Phoenix, AZ. Abstract 171.

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