Asthma patients may be at lower risk of contracting coronavirus, reveals study

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to grip millions across the world, the question about the susceptibility of the deadly virus still looms — as to who is more likely to the contract the infection. Amid several studies, one recent research reveals that people with asthma may be at a reduced risk of contracting Covid-19.

Authors of the study, published on November 24 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, said, “We observed lower Covid-19 susceptibility in patients with preexisting asthma” — meaning asthma patients are less likely to contract the infection.

However, researchers believe that further study is required on the matter.

The research was aimed at observing Covid-19 susceptibility in patients with bronchial asthma. The researchers used data from a large nationwide health maintenance organisation in Israel. It included the Jewish and Arab population of Israel.

“All health maintenance organisation enrollees who had been tested for Covid-19 from February to June 2020 were included,” the study read.

A total of 37,469 participants were tested for Covid-19 using RT-PCR tests. 2,266 (6.05 per cent) of them tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The number of asthma patients was more in the Covid-19 negative group (3388) than in the positive group (153).

“Asthma was found in 153 [6.75 per cent] subjects of the Covid-19-positive group and in 3388 [9.62 per cent] subjects of the Covid-19-negative group,” the study said.

Speaking of loopholes, a report quoted Eugene Merzon, one of the research leaders, as saying, “It was also possible that asthmatics, knowing they are at risk for more severe cases of the virus, may simply take more precautions against contracting it.”

However, further study is required in this case as the research was based on “inpatient data” (those hospitalised), the report quoted researchers as saying. “The prevalence of asthma may be different in outpatient patients with Covid-19,” they said.

Moreover, the study also revealed that “a significantly higher proportion of smokers was observed in the Covid-19-negative group than in the Covid-19-positive group [4734 (13.45 per cent) vs 103 (4.55 per cent); P

Smoking is negatively associated with a likelihood of Covid-19 infection,” the study said.

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