In a study of hospitalized patients who had COVID-19, outcomes for those who had allergies were similar to those of other patients, a new study reports.
The findings were scheduled to be presented to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), which was held virtually this past weekend.
"We examined the charts of 275 patients admitted to the hospital who tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus for any history of allergic disease," said lead author Dr. Dylan Timberlake, an allergist from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
"Over the two-month period when we examined the charts, we found the severity of disease didn't seem to differ between COVID-19 patients with allergies, versus COVID-19 patients without allergies," he said in an ACAAI news release.
Factors researchers considered to determine severity of disease included admission to the intensive care unit, length of stay, supplemental oxygen needs and intubation.
The study looked at outcomes for people with allergic rhinitis, asthma, eczema and food allergies. There were no significant differences in the number of interventions those patients needed compared to other patients, researchers found.
"With regard to ICU admission, 43% of those with allergic disease were admitted versus 45% without. And 79% of those with allergy needed supplemental oxygen versus 74% of those without," said study co-author Dr. Mitchell Grayson, division chief of allergy and immunology at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
In the study, more patients with allergies had COPD, a known risk factor for severe COVID-19.
After adjusting for the presence of COPD, researchers identified a trend suggesting possible protection in patients with preexisting allergic disease but not asthma.
Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America has more information on dealing with those conditions during COVID-19.
SOURCE: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, news release, Nov. 13, 2020