One Study Shows Asthma Associated with Decreased Risk of COVID-19 in Children

The question of whether and how asthma and COVID-19 are related has been an ongoing question since the pandemic’s start. According to the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology, “Few data exist to indicate that having asthma is associated with an increased risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 or a more severe course. Recent reassuring data show that having asthma was not associated with an increased risk of hospitalization or even mortality in COVID-19 hospitalized patients.”
One recent study published on November 3rd in the journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases, looked at COVID-19 rates among children and adolescents (<21 years of age) with a SARS-CoV-2-infected close contact. History of provider-diagnosed asthma was less common in SARS-CoV-2-infected children than in uninfected children (6% vs. 17%; p=0.005), leading the authors to conclude that “asthma is associated with a decreased risk.” They stated, “These observations have led to speculation that asthma may lower SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility, or alternatively protect from severe COVID-19, by promoting a Th2‐dominant immune response or through reduced expression of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor (ACE2).” Similar to other studies, the authors found significant racial disparities, noting that Latinx children represented 21% of those individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection but accounted for 59% of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients.