Only 5% of people who died from COVID-19 in New York had asthma

Though health organizations were warning those with asthma that they may be at a higher risk for developing severe COVID-19, early data from New York shows that asthmatics only make up about 5 percent of coronavirus-related deaths in the state, according to The New York Times.

Data shows that underlying conditions that are more commonly seen among COVID-19 patients who died in New York are hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol.

"We're not seeing a lot of patients with asthma," said Bushra Mina, MD, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told the Times.

Other research sources have come to the same conclusion, showing little evidence of asthma increasing the risk of severe illness or death among COVID-19 patients.

A group of European researchers published a commentary in The Lancet saying it "is striking that [asthma] appears to be under-represented in the comorbidities reported for patients with COVID-19."

Another small study, conducted in Washington and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows only three out 24 patients with critical COVID-19 illness had asthma.

But health experts warn existing research shows that influenza and milder coronaviruses may exacerbate asthma, a cause for concern for those with asthma who develop COVID-19.

"It is well known that viral infections are the No. 1 cause of asthma flares in both children and adults under normal conditions," Linda Rogers, MD, a specialist in pulmonary medicine at Mount Sinai Health System, told the Times.

More articles on patient safety and outcomes:
5 US coronavirus patients begin treatment using blood from recovered patients
Why UPMC's care rationing framework is gaining popularity among hospitals
COVID-19 kills 13% of people over age 80, study finds


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