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Asthma Isn't a Risk Factor for Worsening COVID-19: Study

FRIDAY, June 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- People with asthma can breathe a little easier: New research suggests the condition does not increase your risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19.

A review of records from 10 hospitals affiliated with Northwestern Medicine turned up more than 1,500 patients with COVID-19. Of these, 14% had asthma.

Using models that accounted for age, sex and ethnicity while adjusting for asthma risk factors such as smoking and obesity, the investigators found no meaningful difference in odds of hospitalization between people with and without asthma.

Nor did use of asthma medications -- such as inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists -- increase hospitalization risk. Finally, the researchers found that asthma didn't lead to more deaths from COVID-19.

"We would usually expect for asthmatic patients to have worse outcomes, as viral illness often can set off asthma exacerbations," said corresponding author Dr. Anju Peters, a professor of medicine at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

"More studies must be done to look at the underlying immune modulation caused by asthma or asthma treatment to see what impact it may have on COVID-19 outcomes," Peters said in a news release from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

The findings were published June 18 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

More information

For more about asthma and COVID-19, visit the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

SOURCE: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, news release, June 18, 2020

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