Effect of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on the control and severity of pediatric asthma

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Silvia Sánchez-García
Javier Ruiz-Hornillos
Marta Bernaola
Alicia Habernau-Mena
Eva María Lasa
Javier Contreras
Rocío Candón-Morillo
Cristina Antón-Rodríguez
Carmelo Escudero


asthma control, asthma severity, COVID, pediatric asthma, SARS-CoV-2


Background: The novel disease caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has caused an unprecedented global pandemic. Care providers of asthmatic children are increasingly concerned; as viral infections are one of the primary triggers of asthma flare-up. However, the effect of SARS-CoV-2 as well as the generated worldwide lockdown on asthmatic children is unknown.

Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of pandemic SARS-CoV-2 in pediatric asthma control.

Material and Methods: A retrospective, open, transversal study was performed at five tertiary hospitals. Recruited patients were aged <18 years and had physician-diagnosed asthma. Information regarding the 2019 and 2020 seasons were provided.

Results: Data were collected from 107 children (age range: 3–18 years, mean age: 12 years). Well-controlled asthma was observed in 58 (54.2%) patients in 2020 versus 30 (28%) in 2019, and 15 (14%) patients had poorly controlled asthma in 2020 versus 28 (26.2%) in 2019. In 2020, a decrease in exacerbations caused by allergies to pollen, dust mites, molds, and through other causes not related to SARS-CoV-2 infection was observed. An increase in exacerbations was observed due to animal dander, stress, physical exercise, and SARSCoV-2 infection. Children had a reduced need for asthma-controlling medication, made fewer visits to healthcare providers and had lesser need of treatment with oral corticosteroids if compared with the same season of 2019.

Conclusion: Pediatric asthma control improved, the need for controller medication declined, and fewer visits to healthcare providers were made during the pandemic if compared with the 2019 season.

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