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Allergy ; 76(6): 1765-1775, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1153414


BACKGROUND: The interplay between COVID-19 pandemic and asthma in children is still unclear. We evaluated the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on childhood asthma outcomes. METHODS: The PeARL multinational cohort included 1,054 children with asthma and 505 non-asthmatic children aged between 4 and 18 years from 25 pediatric departments, from 15 countries globally. We compared the frequency of acute respiratory and febrile presentations during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic between groups and with data available from the previous year. In children with asthma, we also compared current and historical disease control. RESULTS: During the pandemic, children with asthma experienced fewer upper respiratory tract infections, episodes of pyrexia, emergency visits, hospital admissions, asthma attacks, and hospitalizations due to asthma, in comparison with the preceding year. Sixty-six percent of asthmatic children had improved asthma control while in 33% the improvement exceeded the minimal clinically important difference. Pre-bronchodilatation FEV1 and peak expiratory flow rate were improved during the pandemic. When compared to non-asthmatic controls, children with asthma were not at increased risk of LRTIs, episodes of pyrexia, emergency visits, or hospitalizations during the pandemic. However, an increased risk of URTIs emerged. CONCLUSION: Childhood asthma outcomes, including control, were improved during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, probably because of reduced exposure to asthma triggers and increased treatment adherence. The decreased frequency of acute episodes does not support the notion that childhood asthma may be a risk factor for COVID-19. Furthermore, the potential for improving childhood asthma outcomes through environmental control becomes apparent.

Asthma , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Asthma/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Hospitalization , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract ; 8(8): 2592-2599.e3, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-599331


BACKGROUND: It is unclear whether asthma may affect susceptibility or severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children and how pediatric asthma services worldwide have responded to the pandemic. OBJECTIVE: To describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pediatric asthma services and on disease burden in their patients. METHODS: An online survey was sent to members of the Pediatric Asthma in Real Life think tank and the World Allergy Organization Pediatric Asthma Committee. It included questions on service provision, disease burden, and the clinical course of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection among children with asthma. RESULTS: Ninety-one respondents, caring for an estimated population of more than 133,000 children with asthma, completed the survey. COVID-19 significantly impacted pediatric asthma services: 39% ceased physical appointments, 47% stopped accepting new patients, and 75% limited patients' visits. Consultations were almost halved to a median of 20 (interquartile range, 10-25) patients per week. Virtual clinics and helplines were launched in most centers. Better than expected disease control was reported in 20% (10%-40%) of patients, whereas control was negatively affected in only 10% (7.5%-12.5%). Adherence also appeared to increase. Only 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported among the population; the estimated incidence is not apparently different from the reports of general pediatric cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: Children with asthma do not appear to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Outcomes may even have improved, possibly through increased adherence and/or reduced exposures. Clinical services have rapidly responded to the pandemic by limiting and replacing physical appointments with virtual encounters.

Asthma/epidemiology , Asthma/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Appointments and Schedules , Asthma/therapy , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Global Health , Humans , Medication Adherence , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Time Factors