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IS ASTHMA A RISK FACTOR FOR COVID-19 IN CHILDREN?
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  • Cristina Calvo,
  • Ana Hernáiz,
  • Lucía Escolano,
  • Maria Luz García-García
Cristina Calvo
Hospital Universitario La Paz
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Ana Hernáiz
Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud
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Lucía Escolano
Hospital Universitario La Paz
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Maria Luz García-García
Hospital Universitario Severo Ochoa
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Abstract

The prevalence of asthma in children in Europe is an average of 10.3%. The role of asthma as a risk factor for COVID-19 in children is unknown. Our aim was to study the prevalence of asthma in children with SARS-CoV-2 infection and to compare them in hospitalized children and those with mild ambulatory symptoms. We conducted an observational retrospective study in 99 children (between 3- 17 years of age) with a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection between March and December 2020. The existence of a history of asthma was investigated using the validated ISAAC questionnaire and clinical data on COVID-19 were compiled. The median age was 10 years (IQR=13-5), and 60/99 (60.6%) patients had mild infections controlled as outpatient, while 39/99 (39.4%) required admission. The prevalence of asthma ─affirmative response to question 6 of the ISAAC questionnaire─ was 11.1% (11/99). The prevalence of asthma in children who required admission increased to 17.9% and to 21.4% in patients requiring PICU, while in outpatients children was 6.7% (p=0.079). We found a significant association between the use of salbutamol during the last year and the need for admission (23.1% in hospitalized patients vs 3.3% in outpatients; OR= 8.7, 95%CI 1.7-42.8). Likewise, budesonide treatment in the last year (17.9% vs 1.7%, OR= 12.9, 95%CI 1.5-109.5) was also a risk factor for admission. Therefore, a history of asthma was not a risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection in our series, but active asthma could be a risk factor for severity and need for hospitalization for COVID-19 in children