SARS-CoV-2 has defined our everyday lives over the past three years and by constituting a serious risk factor for patients with pre-existing respiratory illnesses, it placed an unexpected burden on the health care systems worldwide.
The aim of this study was to explore the association between COVID-19 and pre-existing respiratory comorbidities such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
In our current study, we retrospectively processed the data of nearly 29 000 Hungarian patients.
We found that COPD was directly associated with the severity of COVID-19 and slightly increased the risk of intensive care unit admission and the need for mechanical ventilation during the SARS-CoV-2 infection. On the other hand, the presence of asthma influenced neither the severity of COVID-19 nor the need for intensive care unit admission or mechanical ventilation significantly.
International studies suggest that COPD does not significantly increase the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the likelihood of hospitalization due to COVID-19 is much higher in COPD patients and the presence of COPD is associated with a more severe disease course. Given the structural alterations and abnormal regeneration processes of the airways that occur during lung injury in COPD patients, these individuals require increased attention and personalized rehabilitation protocols after the onset of the viral infection.
Altogether, the assessment of clinical manifestations associated with different COPD phenotypes (as well as other chronic lung diseases) and SARS-CoV-2 infection is essential for the implementation of personalized therapeutic approach in the future. Orv Hetil. 2023; 164(2): 51-56.