People with asthma were not overrepresented in patients with severe pneumonia because of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection who required hospitalization, according to study results published in the European Respiratory Journal.
Researchers evaluated patient demographics, clinical history, asthma control history, and comorbid conditions from adult patients hospitalized with a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and reporting a history of asthma. The outcomes of interest were mortality, length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay, and total length of hospital stay, which were compared with a random control group of individuals without asthma hospitalized for COVID-19 pneumonia.
Of the 768 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, 37 reported a history of asthma, and 75 were randomly assigned to the nonasthma control group. Of the 37 patients with asthma, 70% were women, the mean age was 54 years, and body mass index was 28.3 kg/m², respectively. The median time from onset of symptoms to admission in the emergency room was 6 days. Compared with the control group, all differences between groups pointed to worse COVID-19 pneumonia in individuals without asthma. None of the patients with asthma presented with an exacerbation while in the hospital.
“COVID-19 pneumonia was not associated with asthma exacerbation at admission and at one-month follow-up in patients who did not modify their asthma treatment,” the researchers wrote. “Large multicenter cohort studies are needed to confirm these data and explore the reasons why SARS-CoV-2 does not seem to trigger as many asthma exacerbations, as previously seen with other respiratory viruses.”
Beurnier A, Jutant E-M, Jevnikar M, et al. Characteristics and outcomes of asthmatic patients with COVID-19 pneumonia who require hospitalisation. Eur Respir J. Published online July 30, 2020. doi:10.1183/13993003.01875-2020