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COVID-19 Outcomes No Worse for People With Asthma

MONDAY, March 1, 2021 -- COVID-19 outcomes are similar for people with or without asthma, according to a review published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Asthma.

Anthony P. Sunjaya, M.D., from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review (through May 26, 2020) to better understand the evidence on the risk for infection, severe illness, and death from COVID-19 among people with asthma.

Based on 57 identified studies (587,280 people), the researchers found that the prevalence of asthma among those infected with COVID-19 was 7.46 percent. Nonsevere asthma was more common than severe asthma (9.61 versus 4.13 percent). For people with asthma, there was a lower risk for acquiring COVID-19 (relative risk [RR], 0.86; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.80 to 0.94; P < 0.0001) and for hospitalization with COVID-19 (RR, 0.87; 95 percent CI, 0.77 to 0.99; P = 0.03) versus people without asthma. For the combined risk of requiring admission to an intensive care unit and/or receiving mechanical ventilation, there was no significant difference observed for people with asthma (RR, 0.87; 95 percent CI, 0.94 to 1.37; P = 0.19); findings were similar for the risk for death from COVID-19 (RR, 0.87; 95 percent CI, 0.68 to 1.10; P = 0.25).

"Initial uncertainty about the impact of asthma on COVID-19 may have caused anxiety among patients and caregivers leading them to be more vigilant about preventing infection," a coauthor said in a statement.

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