ATS.2021: Odds of uncontrolled asthma in response to pandemic-related stress increased in a significant dose-response manner among adult respondents to a new survey.
Among adults with asthma reporting the impact of COVID-19-related stress, more than half experienced an asthma exacerbation since the pandemic began and just under half reported uncontrolled asthma, according to a new study.
Authors of the study, presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference, held virtually May 14-19, 2021, say the significant dose-response relationship they observed should prompt health care professionals to assess patients with asthma for potential emotional distress and to provide mental health care or referrals.
Here are the study details, at-a-glance.
Measures of COVID-19-related stress. A 5-point Likert scale captured participants’ responses to to 8 questions on levels of emotional wellbeing.
Wide range revealed in level-of-stress scores. Final scores ranged from 8-40, categorized into 4 levels: low, moderate, high, and very high stress. Additional data were collected on response to the ACT, use of healthcare during the pandemic, and level of "life changes" for the individual and/or family during the pandemic.
Results of pandemic-related stress on asthma control. Total, 909 participants, mean age 44 ±15 yrs. Those less educated, non-white, and those who rent or live with family more likely to experience significantly higher levels of stress in the 2 weeks before the survey.
Asthma control outcomes. Since the pandemic began: ~58% had an asthma exacerbation and 43% had uncontrolled asthma (ACT≤19). Observed after adjusted multiple logistic regression: A significant dose-response (ptrend<.0001) direct relationship of COVID-19-related stress levels with odds of uncontrolled asthma.
Odds of uncontrolled asthma during COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to participants with low stress score, odds of having uncontrolled asthma, after covariate adjustment, were: Moderate stress, 1.58; high stress, 2.74; and very high stress, 6.46.
The study abstract, "COVID-19-related stress and uncontrolled asthma among adults," also appears in the Online Abstracts issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.