As COVID restrictions are lifted, asthma attacks have increased

By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter

(Health Day)

FRIDAY, Nov. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — When COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in the UK, the risk of severe asthma attacks doubled.

Although COVID is no more likely to cause asthma attacks than other respiratory infections, safety measures, such as wearing masks and reduced socializing, may have kept these attacks at bay. suggested the authors of a new study.

“Our study was observational, so it cannot prove cause and effect. But our results raise the possibility that some elements of the public health measures introduced during the pandemic – such as wearing face masks – could help reduce respiratory illnesses. moving forward,” study lead author Adrian Martineau said in a press release from Queen Mary University of London. He is a clinical professor of respiratory infection and respiratory infection. university.

Researchers studied data from more than 2,300 adults with asthma who took part in the university’s COVIDENCE UK study between November 2020 and April 2022. Participants completed a monthly online questionnaire that asked questions about the face covering use, social mix and asthma symptoms.

COVID restrictions were imposed in spring 2020. In April 2021, social mix restrictions and the need for face coverings began to ease in the UK

When the restrictions were lifted, fewer people wore face coverings. They were more likely to mix socially. The study found that people subsequently had a higher risk of COVID and other acute respiratory infections.

“It is also reassuring to see that COVID-19 was not significantly more likely to trigger asthma attacks than other respiratory infections in our study participants,” said the study co-author. , Florence Tydeman, noting some of the other findings. At the time of the study, she was a statistician and epidemiologist at university.

In their April 2021 responses, less than 2% of study participants said they had had a severe asthma attack in the previous month.

In January 2022, nearly 4% had had a severe seizure in the past month.

More than 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, the symptoms of which include shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing and coughing.

The results were recently published in the journal Thorax. They were also presented on November 23 at the British Thoracic Society meeting.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on asthma.

SOURCE: Queen Mary University of London, press release, November 23, 2022

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