Rationale: Whether asthma constitutes a risk factor for COVID-19 is
unclear. Here we aimed to assess whether asthma, the most common chronic
disease in children, is a risk factor for COVID-19 in pediatric
populations. Methods: We performed a systematic literature search in
three stages: First, we reviewed PubMed, EMBASE and CINAHL for
systematic reviews of SARS-CoC-2 and COVID-19 in pediatric populations,
and reviewed their primary articles; second, we searched PubMed for
studies on COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 and asthma/wheeze, and evaluated
whether the resulting studies included pediatric populations; third, we
repeated the second search in BioRxiv.org and MedRxiv.org to find
pre-prints that may have information on pediatric asthma. Results: In
the first search, eight systematic reviews were found, of which five
were done in pediatric population; after reviewing 67 primary studies we
found no data on pediatric asthma as a comorbidity for COVID-19. In the
second search, we found 34 results in PubMed, of which five reported
asthma in adults, but none included data on children. In the third
search, 23 pre-prints in MedRxiv were identified with data on asthma,
but again none with pediatric data. We found only one report by the U.S.
CDC stating that 40/345 (~11.5%) children with data on
chronic conditions had “chronic lung diseases including asthma”.
Conclusion: There is scarcely any data on whether childhood asthma (or
other pediatric respiratory diseases) constitute risk factors for
SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 severity. Studies are needed that go
beyond counting the number of cases in the pediatric age range.