HealthDay News — COVID-19 outcomes are similar for people with or without asthma, according to a review published online February 8 in the Journal of Asthma.

Anthony P. Sunjaya, MD, from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review (through May 26, 2020) to better understand the evidence on the risk for infection, severe illness, and death from COVID-19 among people with asthma.

Based on 57 identified studies (587,280 people), the researchers found that the prevalence of asthma among those infected with COVID-19 was 7.46%. Nonsevere asthma was more common than severe asthma (9.61 vs 4.13%). For people with asthma, there was a lower risk for acquiring COVID-19 (relative risk [RR], 0.86; 95% CI, 0.80-0.94; P <.0001) and for hospitalization with COVID-19 (RR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.77-0.99; P =.03) vs people without asthma. For the combined risk of requiring admission to an intensive care unit and/or receiving mechanical ventilation, there was no significant difference observed for people with asthma (RR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.94-1.37; P =.19); findings were similar for the risk for death from COVID-19 (RR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.68-1.10; P =.25).

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“Initial uncertainty about the impact of asthma on COVID-19 may have caused anxiety among patients and caregivers leading them to be more vigilant about preventing infection,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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