Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, both the CDC and the World Health Organization identified asthma patients as being at high risk for severe disease and hospitalization, but it soon became evident that this may not be the case when study after study showed little or no support for that conclusion. A recent study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine identified 150 studies worldwide that allowed for a comparison of the prevalence of asthma in patients with COVID-19 by region, disease severity and mortality. The results of the analyses do not provide clear evidence of increased risk of COVID-19 diagnosis, hospitalization, severity, or mortality due to asthma. These findings could provide some reassurance to people with asthma regarding its potential to increase their risk of severe morbidity from COVID-19.
However, CDC guidance on the subject, last updated on January 20, 2021, still warns that people with moderate-to-severe asthma may be “at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.” A press release from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology noted that despite the CDC statement that asthma patients may have a great risk for severe disease if they become sick with COVID-19, “there are no published data to support this determination at this time.”
The pandemic has everyone concerned for people with comorbidities, mainly because there isn’t enough information available to us yet. The researchers like the CDC have opinions, studies, and data to support each of their theories and we need to respect that.
We also need to stay the course, stay well, mask up, get vaccinated, and stay tuned!