Submitting/Presenting Author

Sean Stout, Children's Mercy HospitalFollow

Presenter Status

Fellow

Abstract Type

Research

Primary Mentor

Jay Portnoy, MD

Start Date

5-5-2022 11:30 AM

End Date

5-5-2022 1:30 PM

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Description

Background: Emergency Department (ED) and inpatient (IP) asthma visits were reduced during 2020 at a tertiary pediatric hospital. This was likely due to measures used to avoid exposure to the SARS-CoV2 virus which led to fewer viral upper respiratory infections (URIs). Other known asthma triggers include allergens, air pollution, and weather changes.

Objectives/Goal: To determine whether other factors could explain this reduction, we looked for changes in other asthma triggers such as pollen, air pollution, and weather.

Methods/Design: Monthly ED and IP asthma visits from 2010 to 2019 were compared to 2020 by time series analysis (TSA), controlling for total visits and environmental variables. Monthly values for pollen, weather (temperature, humidity, wind, pressure), air pollution (ozone, PM2.5), and virus isolates (Rhinovirus, Influenza, total virus, and percent virus positive) from 2010 to 2019 were also compared to 2020 by TSA.

Results: A significant reduction was found for ED asthma visits from April to December except October and for IP asthma visits during April and June. There was a significant decrease in total virus in May, and significant decreases in percent virus positive during April through December except July, October and November. No other variables showed significant changes.

Conclusions: Unscheduled pediatric asthma visits were significantly reduced during nearly the entire COVID-19 pandemic period of 2020. Since asthma triggers other than viral infections were not significantly altered by COVID-19, this suggests a dominant role for URIs as triggers of pediatric asthma.

MeSH Keywords

Asthma; COVID-19

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May 5th, 11:30 AM May 5th, 1:30 PM

Factors Leading to Reduced Unscheduled Pediatric Asthma Visits During COVID-19

Background: Emergency Department (ED) and inpatient (IP) asthma visits were reduced during 2020 at a tertiary pediatric hospital. This was likely due to measures used to avoid exposure to the SARS-CoV2 virus which led to fewer viral upper respiratory infections (URIs). Other known asthma triggers include allergens, air pollution, and weather changes.

Objectives/Goal: To determine whether other factors could explain this reduction, we looked for changes in other asthma triggers such as pollen, air pollution, and weather.

Methods/Design: Monthly ED and IP asthma visits from 2010 to 2019 were compared to 2020 by time series analysis (TSA), controlling for total visits and environmental variables. Monthly values for pollen, weather (temperature, humidity, wind, pressure), air pollution (ozone, PM2.5), and virus isolates (Rhinovirus, Influenza, total virus, and percent virus positive) from 2010 to 2019 were also compared to 2020 by TSA.

Results: A significant reduction was found for ED asthma visits from April to December except October and for IP asthma visits during April and June. There was a significant decrease in total virus in May, and significant decreases in percent virus positive during April through December except July, October and November. No other variables showed significant changes.

Conclusions: Unscheduled pediatric asthma visits were significantly reduced during nearly the entire COVID-19 pandemic period of 2020. Since asthma triggers other than viral infections were not significantly altered by COVID-19, this suggests a dominant role for URIs as triggers of pediatric asthma.