COPD but Not Asthma Associated with Worse COVID-19 Outcomes

Pavankumar Kamat


August 04, 2021


Why this matters

  • Findings suggest that patients with COPD should take special precautions to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

Study design

  • UK researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 37 studies (n=1,678,992) identified through a literature search across electronic databases.

  • Risks of COVID-19-related hospitalisation, ICU admission and mortality were evaluated in patients with COPD and asthma.

  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • COPD was associated with an increased risk of COVID-19-related (adjusted OR [aOR]; 95% CI):

    • hospitalisation (1.390; 1.307-1.478; P<.001);

    • ICU admission (1.336; 1.139-1.566; P<.001; I2, 66.643); and

    • mortality (1.276; 1.176-1.385; P<.001).

  • Asthma was not associated with an increased risk of COVID-19-related (aOR; 95% CI):

    • hospitalisation (0.873; 0.726-1.049; P=.148; I2, 85.355);

    • ICU admission (0.746; 0.545-1.020; P=.067; I2, 87.198); and

    • mortality (0.827; 0.711-0.961; P=.013; I2, 61.481).

  • In the Cox regression model, COPD (adjusted HR [aHR], 1.296; 95% CI, 1.170-1.436; P<.001; I2, 88.386), but not asthma (aHR, 0.930; 95% CI, 0.865-1.000; P=.049; I2, 64.176), was associated with an increased risk of mortality.


  • Heterogeneity among studies.

  • Risk of bias.

Pardhan S, Wood S, Vaughan M, Trott M. The Risk of COVID-19 Related Hospitalsation, Intensive Care Unit Admission and Mortality in People With Underlying Asthma or COPD: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Front Med (Lausanne). 2021;8:668808. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2021.668808. PMID: 34222281.  View full text

This clinical summary originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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