Is Asthma an Independent Risk Factor for COVID-19?

using asthma inhaler at home during coronavirus covid 19 isolation quarantine days
Is COVID-19 a serious concern for people with asthma? Study results presented at AAAAI 2022 show that this answer is not clear cut.

The following article is a part of conference coverage from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting, being held in Phoenix, Arizona, from February 25 to 28, 2022. Click here to read more of MPR‘s conference coverage.

Asthma may be a risk factor for severe COVID-19, according to a recent study conducted at Kaiser Permanente Northern California that examined the incidence of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and severity in asthma patients during 2020. Results of the study are being presented at the American Association of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) 2022 Annual Meeting, held in Phoenix, Arizona, from February 25 to 28.

To address the limited knowledge about asthma as a risk factor for COVID-19, the researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study that enrolled a cohort of asthma patients (n=41,282) and a matched control cohort of adults (n=41,282) of corresponding age, sex, and race/ethnicity (mean age 55 [±16] years; 63% female; 55% White individuals). Using electronic health records, the researchers collected data on demographics, clinical factors, comorbidities, polymerase chain reaction COVID-19 testing, hospitalization, and inpatient COVID-19 treatment.

The investigators found that asthma was inversely associated with having a positive COVID-19 test (8.7% vs 9.4% positive among those tested; OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82-0.99; P =.03) after adjustment for age, sex, race or ethnicity, BMI, smoking, the Neighborhood Deprivation Index, and comorbidities. Asthma was not related to COVID-19 hospitalization (2.9 vs 1.4 per 1000 persons; OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.96-1.12; P =.32) after adjustment for the same covariates. Asthma was positively associated with a composite outcome that included COVID-19-related intensive care unit (ICU) admission, intubation, or remdesivir treatment (2.5 vs 1.0 per 1000 persons; OR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.28-2.81; P =.001) after adjustment for the same covariates.

“Asthma was associated with lower odds of COVID-19 infection, was not independently associated with increased risk of hospitalization for COVID-19, but was independently associated with ICU admission/intubation/Remdesivir treatment suggesting that asthma may be a risk factor for severe COVID-19,” the authors wrote.

Visit MPR’s conference section for complete coverage of the AAAAI 2022 Annual Meeting.


Finkas LK, Block L, Lu M, et al. Retrospective Analysis of COVID-19 Incidence and Health Outcomes Among Patients With Asthma in a Large Integrated Health Care Delivery System. Presented at: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) 2022 Annual Meeting; February 25–28, 2022; Phoenix, AZ. Abstract 171.     

This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor