A new WashU Med study adds to a growing body of evidence indicating that people with asthma are not at increased risk of severe COVID-19. The study involved 435 patients who arrived at Barnes-Jewish Hospital or Christian Hospital with COVID-19 symptoms and received testing. Of the 343 patients who tested positive for COVID-19, the 72 patients with asthma were no more likely to require hospitalization, ICU care or mechanical ventilation, nor were they more likely to die than COVID-19 patients without asthma.
Asthma symptoms often mimic those of COVID-19, making it difficult to determine when an asthma patient needs a COVID-19 test. “This study highlights the importance of managing asthma flare-ups during the pandemic,” said senior author Leyao Wang, PhD, an instructor in medicine. “Asthma patients are at increased risk of exhibiting symptoms that are similar to COVID-19 symptoms, and this is a great challenge for clinicians in determining when a COVID-19 test is needed.”