HealthDay News — School-aged children with uncontrolled asthma have increased risk of COVID-19 hospital admission, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
Ting Shi, Ph.D., from Usher Institute, Edinburgh Medical School, University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a national incident cohort study involving 752,867 children in Scotland aged 5 to 17 years from the linked dataset of Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 (EAVE II) to examine the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization.
Overall, 8.4 percent of those in EAVE II had clinician-diagnosed-and-recorded asthma. The researchers found that of those with asthma, 6.8 percent had reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, 1.5 percent of whom were admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Of the children without asthma, 5.8 percent had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, of whom 0.9 percent were admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Compared to those with well-controlled asthma or without asthma, children with poorly controlled asthma had a higher rate of COVID-19 hospital admission. The adjusted hazard ratios for those with poorly controlled and well-controlled asthma versus no asthma were 6.40 and 1.36, respectively, using previous hospital admission for asthma as the marker of uncontrolled asthma. The adjusted hazard ratios were 3.38 and 3.53 for those with three or more or two prescribed courses of corticosteroids, respectively, when using oral corticosteroid prescriptions as a marker of uncontrolled asthma.
“Understanding which children with asthma are at increased risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes is critical to ongoing policy deliberations on vaccine prioritization,” a coauthor said in a statement.
One author disclosed financial ties to AstraZeneca.