THURSDAY, Sept. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of asthma among patients hospitalized with COVID-19 seems to be similar to population prevalence and significantly lower than asthma prevalence among patients hospitalized with influenza, according to a letter to the editor published online Aug. 31 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Richard Broadhurst, from the University of Colorado at Denver in Aurora, and colleagues compared asthma prevalence among patients hospitalized for COVID-19 reported in 15 studies to that of the corresponding population asthma prevalence and four-year average asthma prevalence among influenza hospitalizations. Furthermore, the likelihood of intubation was compared for patients with COVID-19 with and without asthma.

The researchers found that the proportion of patients with asthma (12 percent) among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 was similar to the population asthma prevalence at each site. This was in contrast to influenza, for which patients with asthma comprise more than 20 percent of U.S. hospitalizations. Among COVID-19 patients, the likelihood of being intubated was not significantly different for those with asthma versus those without asthma (odds ratio, 0.69; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.33 to 1.45) after adjustment for age, sex, and body mass index.

“The results of this study suggest that asthma does not appear to be a significant risk factor for developing severe COVID-19 requiring hospitalization or intubation,” the authors write.

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