Patients with Severe Asthma on Biologic Therapy at Risk of Severe COVID-19, Study Finds

A recent study has found that patients with severe asthma receiving treatment with biologics are more likely to contract COVID-19 and develop a severe course as compared with general population.


Photo: Severe Asthma | InStyleHealth


The research used data from the Dutch Severe Asthma Registry RAPSODI and it included 634 severe asthma patients who received biologic therapy (19 % omalizumab, 39% mepolizumab, 16% reslizumab, 19% benralizumab, and 7% dupilumab).


There were nine patients (1.4%) diagnosed with COVID-19, of which one exhibited with an asthma exacerbation. Seven patients (1.1%) needed hospitalization for oxygen therapy by nasal canula or nonrebreather mask, and five of them were confined in ICU for intubation and mechanical ventilation. Unfortunately, one patient died (0.16%).


The intubated patients had one or more comorbidities. The comorbidities among the intubated patients included obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. However, none of the patients received continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), noninvasive ventilation (NIV), or extracorporeal life support (ECLS).


Comparative to the general Dutch populace, severe asthma patients receiving biologics had greater possibility of contracting COVID-19, being hospitalized, being intubated, and risk of mortality.


Although it appears uncertain why the study population has progressed to more severe COVID-19 cases, however, the phenomenon can be attributed to comorbidities or pre-existing medical conditions, the severity of asthmatic airway inflammation, the use of biologics, or a combination of these factors. For complete details of the study, click here.


Source: Respir Med 2021;177:106287

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