Eur Respir J. 2020 Jul 30:2001875. doi: 10.1183/13993003.01875-2020. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Viral respiratory infections are the main causes of asthma exacerbation. The susceptibility of asthmatics to develop an exacerbation when they present with severe pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2 infection is unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate the characteristics and outcomes of asthmatic patients with COVID-19 pneumonia who required hospitalisation during the spring 2020 outbreak in Paris, France.
METHODS: A prospective cohort follow-up was carried out from March 15 to April 15, 2020 in Bicêtre Hospital, University Paris-Saclay, France. All hospitalised patients with a SARS-CoV-2 infection who reported a history of asthma were included.
RESULTS: Among 768 hospitalised patients, 37 (4.8%) reported a history of asthma, which had been previously confirmed by a pulmonologist in 85% of cases. Patients were mainly female (70%), non-smokers (85%), with a median age of 54 years (interquartile range, IQR 42-67). None of them presented with an asthma exacerbation. Twenty-two (59%) had major comorbidities and 31 (84%) had a body mass index ≥25 kg·m-2. The most common comorbidities were obesity (36%), hypertension (27%) and diabetes (19%). All patients had a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia on computed tomography of the chest. Eosinopenia was a typical biologic feature with a median count of 0/mm3 (IQR 0-0). Eleven patients (30%) were admitted in intensive care unit with three death (8.1%) occurring in the context of comorbidities.
CONCLUSION: Asthmatics were not overrepresented among patients with severe pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2 infection who required hospitalisation. Worst outcomes were observed mainly in patients with major comorbidities.