Publication date: Jul 14, 2023
It remains unclear whether patients with asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at increased risk for severe COVID-19. Compare in-hospital COVID-19 outcomes among patients with asthma, COPD, and no airway disease. A retrospective cohort study was conducted on 8,395 patients admitted with COVID-19 between March 2020 and April 2021. Airway disease diagnoses were defined using ICD-10 codes. Mortality and sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) scores were compared among groups. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify and adjust for confounding clinical features associated with mortality. The median SOFA score in patients without airway disease was 0. 32 and mortality was 11%. In comparison, asthma patients had lower SOFA scores (median = 0. 15; P < 0. 01) and decreased mortality, even after adjusting for age, diabetes and other confounders (odds ratio (OR) = 0. 65; P = 0. 01). Patients with COPD had higher SOFA scores (median = 0. 86; P < 0. 01) and increased adjusted odds of mortality (OR = 1. 40; P < 0. 01). Blood eosinophil count ≥200 cells/μL, a marker of T2 inflammation, was associated with lower mortality across all groups. Importantly, patients with asthma showed improved outcomes even after adjusting for eosinophilia, indicating that non-eosinophilic asthma was associated with protection as well. COVID-19 severity was increased in patients with COPD and decreased in those with asthma, eosinophilia, and non-eosinophilic asthma, independent of clinical confounders. These findings suggest that COVID-19 severity may be influenced by intrinsic immunologic factors in patients with airway diseases, such as T2 inflammation.