THURSDAY, June 9, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Asthma is not associated with higher rates of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection or household transmission, but food allergy is associated with a lower risk, according to a study published online May 31 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Max A. Seibold, Ph.D., from National Jewish Health in Denver, and colleagues assessed SARS-CoV-2 infection incidence in households with children and whether self-reported asthma and/or other allergic diseases are associated with infection and household transmission. The analysis included biweekly nasal swabs and weekly surveys among 1,394 households (4,142 participants) from May 2020 to February 2021.

The researchers found that household SARS-CoV-2 infection probability was 25.8 percent and infection probability was similar for children (14 percent), teenagers (12.1 percent), and adults (14 percent). In 24.5 percent of children, 41.2 percent of teenagers, and 62.5 percent of adults, infections were symptomatic. Neither self-reported doctor-diagnosed asthma nor upper respiratory allergy or eczema was a risk factor for infection. However, self-reported doctor-diagnosed food allergy was associated with a lower infection risk, while higher body mass index was associated with an increased infection risk. A 57.7 percent household secondary attack rate was estimated. While asthma was not associated with household transmission, transmission was lower in households with food allergy.

“Different types of systemic and airway inflammation may contribute to the variable infection risk and understanding the mechanisms explaining these observations may offer new pathways for disease prevention,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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