Newswise — NEW ORLEANS (November 5, 2021) – Studies have shown minority populations suffered higher rates of COVID-19 infections throughout the pandemic. A new study being presented at this year’s American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting reveals Latinos with asthma were 4.6 times more likely than Blacks to develop asthma exacerbations (uncontrolled asthma) following COIVD-19, and 2.9 times more likely than whites.

“We examined 174 adult COVID-19-positive patients with a history of asthma between February and April of 2020,” said Katharine Foster, MD, lead study author. “What we found is that Latinos had significantly higher odds of developing asthma flares, and the length of time of their asthma exacerbations was longer compared to non-Latinos.”

The study results showed uncontrolled asthma symptoms lasted longer for Latinos with asthma who suffered with COVID-19. For Latinos with a COVID-19 infection, their asthma symptoms lasted 3.2 weeks compared to 1.5 weeks for non-Latino Whites and 1.4 weeks for non-Latino Blacks.

“Despite the differences in symptoms we found in the study participants, we didn’t see a difference in the likelihood of starting steroids for symptom relief, nor for starting asthma step-up therapy (more aggressive treatment when asthma is uncontrolled) between Latino, non-Latino white and non-Latino Black populations,” said Mahboobeh Mahdavinia, MD, PhD, ACAAI member and study co-author. “All the groups sought a similar number of asthma-related provider visits, including in clinic, the emergency departments, or via telehealth.”

Respiratory viruses are the most common trigger for asthma exacerbations, although not all viruses affect asthma patients equally. Some viruses such as influenza and rhinovirus are more likely to trigger asthma flares than others. Currently, studies do not indicate that those with asthma are at any higher risk of contracting COVID-19 than those who don’t have asthma.

Abstract Title: Latinos Experience Longer Duration of Uncontrolled Asthma After COVID Infection

Presenter: Katharine Foster, MD

For more information about asthma, or to find an allergist in your area, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. The ACAAI Virtual Annual Meeting is Nov. 4-8. For more news and research from the ACAAI Scientific Meeting, go to our newsroom - and follow the conversation on Twitter #ACAAI21.

About ACAAI

The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy, and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.