There was a substantial decrease in asthma ex- acerbations among Black and Hispanic patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. Investigators used data from the PREPARE study of reliever- triggered inhaled corticosteroid strategy in African-American/Black and Hispanic/Latinx adults (aged 18-75) with moderate-to-severe asthma. Changes in asthma control during the COVID-19 pandemic were assessed (first and second quarters of 2019 vs 2020) for 1,178 participants. The study team observed a signif- icant decrease from Q1 to Q2 of 2020 versus the same time period in 2019, with a difference- in-differences of −0.47 exacerbations per year (representing a relative reduction of 41%). Asthma exacerbation decreased 50% in Hispanic/Latinx and 27% in African-American/ Black patients. Decreases were larger among participants who worked outside of the home at study entry (−65%) versus those who worked at home (−23%). For individuals without a type- 2 helper T-cell phenotype, decreases in exacer- bations were greater, with exacerbations falling by 51% for individuals with a blood eosinophil count below the median (192 cells/μL) versus 34% for those above the median. “Because this was part of a prospective trial that started before the pandemic and was planned to be remote, it gave us a unique window into how changes during the pandemic may have led to a dramat- ic decrease in asthma exacerbation,” a study co- author wrote.
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