New findings in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine report on ties between asthma and COVID outcomes. Specifically, asthma is linked with risk for more severe coronavirus outcomes.

Researchers conducted a study to analyze the effect of asthma phenotype on COVID-19 outcomes and also to compare rates of COVID-19 hospitalization with influenza and pneumonia. The study included 434,348 adults with asthma (median age, 49.5 years; 58% women) and 748,327 matched individuals (median age, 48.5 years; 57.3% women) in the U.K. who were identified using electronic medical record data. The researchers linked patient-level data to Public Health England SARS-CoV-2 test, hospital and mortality data. Patients with asthma were phenotyped by medication, asthma exacerbation history and type 2 inflammation.

All asthma phenotypes were associated with significantly increased risk for general practitioner-diagnosed COVID-19.

“This could represent a greater risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 for asthma, but there was also a significant association with GP consultation for advice on COVID-19 and reporting exposure to COVID-19. In addition, patients with asthma were significantly less likely to have their suspected COVID-19 diagnosis confirmed, indicating a higher risk of false-positive labeling of COVID-19 in asthma than the general population. Put together, these findings suggest that patients with asthma had increased healthcare-seeking behavior and GPS a lower threshold to diagnose COVID-19 in them,” Chloe I. Bloom, MD, senior clinical research fellow in theAirways Disease Section at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, and colleagues wrote.

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