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Asthma surprisingly uncommon in COVID-19 patients

Posted by Janet Rhodes on


We have been told that existing underlying health conditions, usually long term or chronic illnesses, put sufferers at increased risk from coronavirus.

Medical professionals and charity Asthma UK were concerned that patients with asthma may be a particularly vulnerable group for the acute respiratory disease COVID-19.  

Surprisingly however, in recently released data drawn from patients in hospital in New York State with COVID-19, asthma doesn’t make it into the top 10 comorbidities.

Only 5% of those were among asthmatic patients, although the condition is prevalent in about 8% of the country’s population.

Although chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is more common among the elderly than asthma, made it onto the list at #7, it is striking to see respiratory illnesses so underrepresented in comorbidities reported for patients with COVID-19.

The top 10 COVID-19 underlying health conditions listed by New York, in order, were:

  1. hypertension (high blood pressure) – nearly 57%
  2. morbid obesity – 41.7%
  3. diabetes – 33.8%
  4. high cholesterol coronary artery disease
  5. dementia
  6. atrial fibrillation (irregular or fast heart rate)
  7. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  8. renal disease
  9. cancer
  10. congestive heart failure





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