Is Asthma an Independent Risk Factor for COVID-19?

using asthma inhaler at home during coronavirus covid 19 isolation quarantine days
Is COVID-19 a serious concern for people with asthma? Study results presented at AAAAI 2022 show that this answer is not clear cut.

The following article is a part of conference coverage from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting, being held in Phoenix, Arizona, from February 25 to 28, 2022. The team at Pulmonology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by leading experts in the field. Check back for more from the AAAAI 2022 Virtual Annual Meeting.

Asthma may be a risk factor for severe COVID-19, according to a recent study conducted at Kaiser Permanente Northern California that examined the incidence of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and severity in asthma patients during 2020. Results of the study are being presented at the American Association of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) 2022 Annual Meeting, held in Phoenix, Arizona, from February 25 to 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 corresponding age, sex, and race/ethnicity (mean age 55 [±16] years; 63% female; 55% White individuals). Using electronic health records, the researchers collected data on demographics, clinical factors, comorbidities, polymerase chain reaction COVID-19 testing, hospitalization, and 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, the Neighborhood Deprivation Index, and comorbidities. Asthma was not related to COVID-19 hospitalization (2.9 vs 1.4 per 1000 persons; 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) admission, intubation, or remdesivir treatment (2.5 vs 1.0 per 1000 persons; 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,” the authors wrote.


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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 Health Care Delivery System. Presented at: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) 2022 Annual Meeting; February 25–28, 2022; Phoenix, AZ. Abstract 171.