SARS-CoV-2 infection not likely to increase risk of asthma in children

Image of a child sitting on his mother's lap being checked out by a doctor

New research findings suggest that SARS-COV-2 infection does not increase the risk of asthma development in pediatric patients.

Respiratory viral infections during childhood have been identified as a potential risk factor for asthma development in children, yet little is known about how infection with COVID-19 may impact asthma. Now, a large longitudinal study investigates whether children who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 have increased rates of asthma diagnoses compared with those who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

The study included more than 27,000 children, ages 1 to 16, who were tested for a possible COVID-19 infection between March 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021. Patients were followed over an 18-month period. The researchers found that testing positive for COVID-19 was not associated with new asthma diagnosis in children; however, children with known risk factors, such as race, food allergies, allergic rhinitis, and preterm birth, were more likely to develop asthma.

The study appears in Pediatrics.