Paper: Covid-19 ventilator care not tied to asthma

A recent letter published in the online edition of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society indicates that having asthma is not a predictor of whether a patient will require ventilator therapy after contracting Covid-19.

The Aug. 31 letter from a team of physicians at the University of Colorado Hospital studied not only 436 Covid-19 patients at that facility, but also reviewed 15 other peer-reviewed studies. These reviews, according to lead writer Fernando Holguin, MD, and seven co-authors, found no statistically relevant correlation between asthma and intubation. They contrasted this finding with other studies that found asthmatics were heavily overrepresented in patients admitted for hospitalization due to complications from influenza.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) lists asthma as a risk factor for those who contract Covid-19. The paper’s authors surmised that the widespread use of corticosteroid inhalers among asthma patients may inadvertently provide them some protection from the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

The authors cautioned that their findings should not be accepted as the final word on the subject, but said these preliminary results do call for further study.

A press release from the The American Thoracic Society, publisher of the Annals, can be found at https://www.thoracic.org/about/newsroom/press-releases/journal/2020/asthma-may-not-be-a-significant-risk-factor-for-severe-covid-19-or-covid-related-intubation.php. The letter can be accessed at https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1513/AnnalsATS.202006-613RL.