Impact of Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma on COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalization, and Mortality

Copyright © 2021 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved..

BACKGROUND: It remains unclear if patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) and/or asthma are susceptible to corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, severity, and mortality.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the role of AR and/or asthma in COVID-19 infection, severity, and mortality, and assess whether long-term AR and/or asthma medications affected the outcomes of COVID-19.

METHODS: Demographic and clinical data of 70,557 adult participants completed SARS-CoV-2 testing between March 16 and December 31, 2020, in the UK Biobank were analyzed. The rates of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality in relation to pre-existing AR and/or asthma were assessed based on adjusted generalized linear models. We further analyzed the impact of long-term AR and/or asthma medications on the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality.

RESULTS: Patients with AR of all ages had lower positive rates of SARS-CoV-2 tests (relative risk [RR]: 0.75, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.69-0.81, P < .001), with lower susceptibility in males (RR: 0.74, 95% CI: 0.65-0.85, P < .001) than females (RR: 0.8, 95% CI: 0.72-0.9, P < .001). However, similar effects of asthma against COVID-19 hospitalization were only major in participants aged <65 (RR: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.86-1, P = .044) instead of elderlies. In contrast, patients with asthma tested positively had higher risk of hospitalization (RR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.32-1.54, P < .001). Neither AR nor asthma had an impact on COVID-19 mortality. None of conventional medications for AR or asthma, for example, antihistamines, corticosteroids, or β2 adrenoceptor agonists, showed association with COVID-19 infection or severity.

CONCLUSION: AR (all ages) and asthma (aged <65) act as protective factors against COVID-19 infection, whereas asthma increases risk for COVID-19 hospitalization. None of the long-term medications had a significant association with infection, severity, and mortality of COVID-19 among patients with AR and/or asthma.

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Electronic Article

Year of Publication:


Contained In:

The journal of allergy and clinical immunology. In practice - Vol. 10, No. 1 (2022), p. 124-133




Ren, Jianjun
Pang, Wendu
Luo, Yaxin
Cheng, Danni
Qiu, Ke
Rao, Yufang
Zheng, Yongbo
Dong, Yijun
Peng, Jiajia
Hu, Yao
Ying, Zhiye
Yu, Haopeng
Zeng, Xiaoxi
Zong, Zhiyong
Liu, Geoffrey
Wang, Deyun
Wang, Gang
Zhang, Wei
Xu, Wei
Zhao, Yu



Keywords: Schlagworte

Date Completed 12.01.2022

Date Revised 12.01.2022

published: Print-Electronic

Citation Status MEDLINE

Copyright: From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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