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1.
Int J Epidemiol ; 51(4): 1062-1072, 2022 Aug 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706511

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Smoking is a risk factor for most respiratory infections, but it may protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection. The objective was to assess whether smoking and e-cigarette use were associated with severe COVID-19. METHODS: This cohort ran from 24 January 2020 until 30 April 2020 at the height of the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in England. It comprised 7 869 534 people representative of the population of England with smoking status, demographic factors and diseases recorded by general practitioners in the medical records, which were linked to hospital and death data. The outcomes were COVID-19-associated hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission and death. The associations between smoking and the outcomes were assessed with Cox proportional hazards models, with sequential adjustment for confounding variables and indirect causal factors (body mass index and smoking-related disease). RESULTS: Compared with never smokers, people currently smoking were at lower risk of COVID-19 hospitalization, adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were 0.64 (95% confidence intervals 0.60 to 0.69) for <10 cigarettes/day, 0.49 (0.41 to 0.59) for 10-19 cigarettes/day, and 0.61 (0.49 to 0.74) for ≥20 cigarettes/day. For ICU admission, the corresponding HRs were 0.31 (0.24 to 0.40), 0.15 (0.06 to 0.36), and 0.35 (0.17 to 0.74) and death were: 0.79 (0.70 to 0.89), 0.66 (0.48 to 0.90), and 0.77 (0.54 to 1.09) respectively. Former smokers were at higher risk of severe COVID-19: HRs: 1.07 (1.03 to 1.11) for hospitalization, 1.17 (1.04 to 1.31) for ICU admission, and 1.17 (1.10 to 1.24) for death. All-cause mortality was higher for current smoking than never smoking, HR 1.42 (1.36 to 1.48). Among e-cigarette users, the adjusted HR for e-cigarette use and hospitalization with COVID-19 was 1.06 (0.88 to 1.28), for ICU admission was 1.04 (0.57 to 1.89, and for death was 1.12 (0.81 to 1.55). CONCLUSIONS: Current smoking was associated with a reduced risk of severe COVID-19 but the association with e-cigarette use was unclear. All-cause mortality remained higher despite this possible reduction in death from COVID-19 during an epidemic of SARS-CoV-2. Findings support investigating possible protective mechanisms of smoking for SARS-CoV-2 infection, including the ongoing trials of nicotine to treat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Vaping , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Hospitalization , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Smoking/epidemiology , Vaping/epidemiology
2.
Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol ; 17(1): 67, 2021 Jul 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690881

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A significant portion of COVID-19 sufferers have asthma. The impacts of asthma on COVID-19 progression are still unclear but a modifying effect is plausible as respiratory viruses are acknowledged to be an important trigger for asthma exacerbations and a different, potentially type-2 biased, immune response might occur. In this study, we compared the blood circulating cytokine response to COVID-19 infection in patients with and without asthma. METHODS: Plasma samples and clinical information were collected from 80 patients with mild (25), severe (36) or critical (19) COVID-19 and 29 healthy subjects at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK. The concentrations of 51 circulating proteins in the plasma samples were measured with Luminex and compared between groups. RESULTS: Total 16 pre-existing asthma patients were found (3 in mild, 10 in severe, and 3 in critical COVID-19). The prevalence of asthma in COVID-19 severity groups did not suggest a clear correlation between asthma and COVID-19 severity. Within the same COVID-19 severity group, no differences were observed between patients with or without asthma on oxygen saturation, CRP, neutrophil counts, and length of hospital stay. The mortality in the COVID-19 patients with asthma (12.5%) was not higher than that in patients without asthma (17.2%). No significant difference was found between asthmatic and non-asthmatic in circulating cytokine response in different COVID-19 severity groups, including the cytokines strongly implicated in COVID-19 such as CXCL10, IL-6, CCL2, and IL-8. CONCLUSIONS: Pre-existing asthma was not associated with an enhanced cytokine response after COVID-19 infection, disease severity or mortality.

3.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(8): 909-923, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1411740

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Previous studies suggested that the prevalence of chronic respiratory disease in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 was lower than its prevalence in the general population. The aim of this study was to assess whether chronic lung disease or use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) affects the risk of contracting severe COVID-19. METHODS: In this population cohort study, records from 1205 general practices in England that contribute to the QResearch database were linked to Public Health England's database of SARS-CoV-2 testing and English hospital admissions, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, and deaths for COVID-19. All patients aged 20 years and older who were registered with one of the 1205 general practices on Jan 24, 2020, were included in this study. With Cox regression, we examined the risks of COVID-19-related hospitalisation, admission to ICU, and death in relation to respiratory disease and use of ICS, adjusting for demographic and socioeconomic status and comorbidities associated with severe COVID-19. FINDINGS: Between Jan 24 and April 30, 2020, 8 256 161 people were included in the cohort and observed, of whom 14 479 (0·2%) were admitted to hospital with COVID-19, 1542 (<0·1%) were admitted to ICU, and 5956 (0·1%) died. People with some respiratory diseases were at an increased risk of hospitalisation (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] hazard ratio [HR] 1·54 [95% CI 1·45-1·63], asthma 1·18 [1·13-1·24], severe asthma 1·29 [1·22-1·37; people on three or more current asthma medications], bronchiectasis 1·34 [1·20-1·50], sarcoidosis 1·36 [1·10-1·68], extrinsic allergic alveolitis 1·35 [0·82-2·21], idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 1·59 [1·30-1·95], other interstitial lung disease 1·66 [1·30-2·12], and lung cancer 2·24 [1·89-2·65]) and death (COPD 1·54 [1·42-1·67], asthma 0·99 [0·91-1·07], severe asthma 1·08 [0·98-1·19], bronchiectasis 1·12 [0·94-1·33], sarcoidosis 1·41 [0·99-1·99), extrinsic allergic alveolitis 1·56 [0·78-3·13], idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 1·47 [1·12-1·92], other interstitial lung disease 2·05 [1·49-2·81], and lung cancer 1·77 [1·37-2·29]) due to COVID-19 compared with those without these diseases. Admission to ICU was rare, but the HR for people with asthma was 1·08 (0·93-1·25) and severe asthma was 1·30 (1·08-1·58). In a post-hoc analysis, relative risks of severe COVID-19 in people with respiratory disease were similar before and after shielding was introduced on March 23, 2020. In another post-hoc analysis, people with two or more prescriptions for ICS in the 150 days before study start were at a slightly higher risk of severe COVID-19 compared with all other individuals (ie, no or one ICS prescription): HR 1·13 (1·03-1·23) for hospitalisation, 1·63 (1·18-2·24) for ICU admission, and 1·15 (1·01-1·31) for death. INTERPRETATION: The risk of severe COVID-19 in people with asthma is relatively small. People with COPD and interstitial lung disease appear to have a modestly increased risk of severe disease, but their risk of death from COVID-19 at the height of the epidemic was mostly far lower than the ordinary risk of death from any cause. Use of inhaled steroids might be associated with a modestly increased risk of severe COVID-19. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and the Wellcome Trust.


Subject(s)
Adrenal Cortex Hormones , COVID-19 , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive , Administration, Inhalation , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/administration & dosage , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/adverse effects , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19 Testing , Comorbidity , England/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/diagnosis , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/drug therapy , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/epidemiology , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Social Class
4.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(10): 1130-1140, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305334

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties of azithromycin suggest therapeutic potential against COVID-19. Randomised data in mild-to-moderate disease are not available. We assessed whether azithromycin is effective in reducing hospital admission in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. METHODS: This prospective, open-label, randomised superiority trial was done at 19 hospitals in the UK. We enrolled adults aged at least 18 years presenting to hospitals with clinically diagnosed, highly probable or confirmed COVID-19 infection, with fewer than 14 days of symptoms, who were considered suitable for initial ambulatory management. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to azithromycin (500 mg once daily orally for 14 days) plus standard care or to standard care alone. The primary outcome was death or hospital admission from any cause over the 28 days from randomisation. The primary and safety outcomes were assessed according to the intention-to-treat principle. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04381962) and recruitment is closed. FINDINGS: 298 participants were enrolled from June 3, 2020, to Jan 29, 2021. Three participants withdrew consent and requested removal of all data, and three further participants withdrew consent after randomisation, thus, the primary outcome was assessed in 292 participants (145 in the azithromycin group and 147 in the standard care group). The mean age of the participants was 45·9 years (SD 14·9). 15 (10%) participants in the azithromycin group and 17 (12%) in the standard care group were admitted to hospital or died during the study (adjusted OR 0·91 [95% CI 0·43-1·92], p=0·80). No serious adverse events were reported. INTERPRETATION: In patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 managed without hospital admission, adding azithromycin to standard care treatment did not reduce the risk of subsequent hospital admission or death. Our findings do not support the use of azithromycin in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, University of Oxford and Pfizer.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Standard of Care/statistics & numerical data , Treatment Outcome
5.
Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol ; 17(1): 67, 2021 Jul 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301885

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A significant portion of COVID-19 sufferers have asthma. The impacts of asthma on COVID-19 progression are still unclear but a modifying effect is plausible as respiratory viruses are acknowledged to be an important trigger for asthma exacerbations and a different, potentially type-2 biased, immune response might occur. In this study, we compared the blood circulating cytokine response to COVID-19 infection in patients with and without asthma. METHODS: Plasma samples and clinical information were collected from 80 patients with mild (25), severe (36) or critical (19) COVID-19 and 29 healthy subjects at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK. The concentrations of 51 circulating proteins in the plasma samples were measured with Luminex and compared between groups. RESULTS: Total 16 pre-existing asthma patients were found (3 in mild, 10 in severe, and 3 in critical COVID-19). The prevalence of asthma in COVID-19 severity groups did not suggest a clear correlation between asthma and COVID-19 severity. Within the same COVID-19 severity group, no differences were observed between patients with or without asthma on oxygen saturation, CRP, neutrophil counts, and length of hospital stay. The mortality in the COVID-19 patients with asthma (12.5%) was not higher than that in patients without asthma (17.2%). No significant difference was found between asthmatic and non-asthmatic in circulating cytokine response in different COVID-19 severity groups, including the cytokines strongly implicated in COVID-19 such as CXCL10, IL-6, CCL2, and IL-8. CONCLUSIONS: Pre-existing asthma was not associated with an enhanced cytokine response after COVID-19 infection, disease severity or mortality.

6.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 7(1)2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-767949

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 can lead to severe illness with COVID-19. Outcomes of patients requiring mechanical ventilation are poor. Awake proning in COVID-19 improves oxygenation, but on data clinical outcomes is limited. This single-centre retrospective study aimed to assess whether successful awake proning of patients with COVID-19, requiring respiratory support (continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) or high-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO)) on a respiratory high-dependency unit (HDU), is associated with improved outcomes. HDU care included awake proning by respiratory physiotherapists. Of 565 patients admitted with COVID-19, 71 (12.6%) were managed on the respiratory HDU, with 48 of these (67.6%) requiring respiratory support. Patients managed with CPAP alone 22/48 (45.8%) were significantly less likely to die than patients who required transfer onto HFNO 26/48 (54.2%): CPAP mortality 36.4%; HFNO mortality 69.2%, (p=0.023); however, multivariate analysis demonstrated that increasing age and the inability to awake prone were the only independent predictors of COVID-19 mortality. The mortality of patients with COVID-19 requiring respiratory support is considerable. Data from our cohort managed on HDU show that CPAP and awake proning are possible in a selected population of COVID-19, and may be useful. Further prospective studies are required.


Subject(s)
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure/methods , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy/methods , Patient Positioning/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Prone Position , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Noninvasive Ventilation/methods , Odds Ratio , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , United Kingdom , Wakefulness
7.
Trials ; 21(1): 718, 2020 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-717539

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Azithromycin is an orally active synthetic macrolide antibiotic with a wide range of anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It is a safe, inexpensive, generic licenced drug available worldwide and manufactured to scale and is a potential candidate therapy for pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Azithromycin was widely used to treat severe SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, but to date, no randomised data are available in any coronavirus infections. Other ongoing trials are exploring short courses of azithromycin either in early disease, within the first 7 days of symptoms, when azithromycin's antiviral properties may be important, or late in disease when anti-bacterial properties may reduce the risk of secondary bacterial infection. However, the molecule's anti-inflammatory properties, including suppression of pulmonary macrophage-derived pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukins-1ß, -6, -8, and -18 and cytokines G-CSF and GM-CSF may provide a distinct therapeutic benefit if given in as a prolonged course during the period of progression from moderate to severe disease. METHODS: ATOMIC2 is a phase II/III, multi-centre, prospective, open-label, two-arm randomised superiority clinical trial of azithromycin versus standard care for adults presenting to hospital with COVID-19 symptoms who are not admitted at initial presentation. We will enrol adults, ≥ 18 years of age assessed in acute hospitals in the UK with clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 infection where management on an ambulatory care pathway is deemed appropriate. Participants will be randomised in a 1:1 ratio to usual care or to azithromycin 500 mg orally daily for 14 days with telephone follow-up at days 14 and 28. The primary objective is to compare the proportion with either death or respiratory failure requiring invasive or non-invasive mechanical ventilation over 28 days from randomisation. Secondary objectives include mortality/respiratory failure in those with a PCR-confirmed diagnosis; all-cause mortality; progression to pneumonia; progression to severe pneumonia; peak severity of illness and mechanistic analysis of blood and nasal biomarkers. DISCUSSION: This trial will determine the clinical utility of azithromycin in patients with moderately severe, clinically diagnosed COVID-19 and could be rapidly applicable worldwide. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04381962 . Registered on 11 May 2020. EudraCT identifier 2020-001740-26 . Opened for accrual on 29 May 2020.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Research Design , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
8.
Heart ; 106(19): 1503-1511, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-690585

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is uncertainty about the associations of angiotensive enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) drugs with COVID-19 disease. We studied whether patients prescribed these drugs had altered risks of contracting severe COVID-19 disease and receiving associated intensive care unit (ICU) admission. METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study using routinely collected data from 1205 general practices in England with 8.28 million participants aged 20-99 years. We used Cox proportional hazards models to derive adjusted HRs for exposure to ACE inhibitor and ARB drugs adjusted for sociodemographic factors, concurrent medications and geographical region. The primary outcomes were: (a) COVID-19 RT-PCR diagnosed disease and (b) COVID-19 disease resulting in ICU care. FINDINGS: Of 19 486 patients who had COVID-19 disease, 1286 received ICU care. ACE inhibitors were associated with a significantly reduced risk of COVID-19 disease (adjusted HR 0.71, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.74) but no increased risk of ICU care (adjusted HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.06) after adjusting for a wide range of confounders. Adjusted HRs for ARBs were 0.63 (95% CI 0.59 to 0.67) for COVID-19 disease and 1.02 (95% CI 0.83 to 1.25) for ICU care.There were significant interactions between ethnicity and ACE inhibitors and ARBs for COVID-19 disease. The risk of COVID-19 disease associated with ACE inhibitors was higher in Caribbean (adjusted HR 1.05, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.28) and Black African (adjusted HR 1.31, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.59) groups than the white group (adjusted HR 0.66, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.70). A higher risk of COVID-19 with ARBs was seen for Black African (adjusted HR 1.24, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.58) than the white (adjusted HR 0.56, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.62) group. INTERPRETATION: ACE inhibitors and ARBs are associated with reduced risks of COVID-19 disease after adjusting for a wide range of variables. Neither ACE inhibitors nor ARBs are associated with significantly increased risks of receiving ICU care. Variations between different ethnic groups raise the possibility of ethnic-specific effects of ACE inhibitors/ARBs on COVID-19 disease susceptibility and severity which deserves further study.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , England/epidemiology , Health Status , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Young Adult
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