Patients with asthma who become infected with the new coronavirus appear to have no higher risk of hospitalization or need for mechanical breathing assistance compared to COVID-19 patients without asthma – and the asthma patients are less likely to die from the disease, a new study suggests.
Researchers at a Boston healthcare system studied 562 asthma patients with COVID-19 and 2,686 similarly-aged COVID-19 patients without asthma.
The two groups were hospitalized at similar rates (18% to 21%) and had similar need for mechanical ventilation (3% in the asthma group vs 4%).
But the asthma patients were 70% less likely to die from the virus, researchers reported. None of the 44 patients with severe asthma died.
“Although the factors underlying these findings are not yet known, important considerations include: possible biologic mechanisms … and possible protective effects of asthma medications (such as corticosteroids),” the researchers said in a report posted on Monday on medRxiv ahead of peer review.
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