J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020 Aug 6:S0091-6749(20)31100-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2020.07.026. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Several underlying conditions have been associated with severe SARS-CoV2 illness, it remains unclear if underlying asthma is associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes.
OBJECTIVE: Given the high prevalence of asthma in the New York City area, our objective was to determine if underlying asthma was associated with poor outcomes among hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 disease compared to patients without asthma.
METHODS: Electronic heath records were reviewed for 1,298 sequential patients age <65 years without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who were admitted to our hospital system with a confirmed positive SARS-CoV-2 test.
RESULTS: The overall prevalence of asthma among all hospitalized patients with COVID-19 was 12.6%, yet a higher prevalence (23.6%) was observed in the subset 55 patients <21 years of age. There was no significant difference in hospital length of stay, need for intubation, length of intubation, tracheostomy tube placement, hospital readmission or mortality between asthmatic vs. non-asthmatic patients. Observations between asthmatic and non-asthmatic patients were similar when stratified by obesity, other comorbid conditions (i.e. hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes), use of controller asthma medication and absolute eosinophil count.
CONCLUSIONS: Among hospitalized patients <65 years with severe COVID-19, asthma diagnosis was not associated with worse outcomes, regardless of age, obesity, or other high-risk comorbidities. Future population based studies are needed to investigate the risk of developing COVID-19 among patients with asthma once universal testing becomes readily available.