Asthma was one of many chronic illnesses linked to an increased risk of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). There were conflicting findings regarding this population’s risk of developing a serious illness. For a study, researchers sought to determine whether there was any correlation between asthma severity and worse outcomes in a cohort of hospitalized patients and the effect of asthma on COVID-19 outcomes. Using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, codes between March 1 and December 30, 2020, investigators identified hospitalized individuals with COVID-19 using confirmatory polymerase chain reaction testing (n=183) and without asthma (n=1,319). They identified immunoglobulin E, the greatest previous absolute eosinophil count, lung function testing, and asthma maintenance drugs. The primary outcomes were death, need for mechanical breathing, admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), and length of stay in the ICU and hospital. The analysis was modified to account for demographics, comorbidities, smoking status, and the pandemic’s timing of sickness. Study group found no difference between patients with and without asthma in the primary outcomes in the unadjusted analysis. However, in adjusted analyses, patients with asthma were more likely than the non-asthma cohort to undergo mechanical ventilation (odds ratio, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.02-2.44; P=.04); be admitted to an intensive care unit (odds ratio, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.09-2.29; P=.02); have a longer hospital stay (risk ratio, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.09-1.55; P<.003), and higher mortality (hazard ratio, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.01-2.33; P=.04) in comparison to the non-asthma cohort. Eosinophilic phenotype and the usage of inhaled corticosteroids were not significantly different. Interestingly, while people with severe asthma did not have poorer outcomes, those with intermediate asthma did. After adjusting for other variables, asthma was linked to severe COVID-19.
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