J Asthma. 2021 Jun 18:1-12. doi: 10.1080/02770903.2021.1944187. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: The impact of asthma as a possible risk factor for adverse clinical outcomes in patients diagnosed with COVID-19 remains controversial. The purpose of the present study was to examine the impact of asthma on adverse clinical outcomes in a COVID-19 hospitalized cohort.
METHODS: Retrospective, propensity-matched observational study of consecutive COVID-19 positive patients between February 24, 2020, and November 3, 2020 at a single healthcare system.
RESULTS: In the initial population of 1,925 patients, 4.4% presented with asthma. Propensity-score matching reduced the total sample to n = 1,045: 88(8.4%) with asthma and n = 957 without asthma. A total of 164(15.7%) patients died during the hospitalization, including 7(8.0%) in the asthma group and 157(16.4%), p = 0.037, in the non-asthmatic cohort. There was no difference between these groups in need for mechanical ventilation, length of stay on a ventilator or hospital length of stay.Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that asthma was an independent predictor of lower mortality, while older age, BMI >30 kg/m2, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and admission National Early Warning Score (NEWS) were significantly associated with an increased risk of in-hospital death. There were no significant differences between asthmatic and non-asthmatic cohorts with respect to need for mechanical ventilation, length of mechanical ventilation, serum markers of severe COVID-19 disease, or overall length of hospital stay.
CONCLUSION: We conclude that asthma in hospitalized COVID-19 patients is associated with a lower risk of mortality and no increase in disease severity in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.