Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Effect of COVID-19-related Lockdown οn Hospital Admissions for Asthma and COPD Exacerbations: Associations with Air Pollution and Patient Characteristics

Version 1 : Received: 6 June 2021 / Approved: 8 June 2021 / Online: 8 June 2021 (13:27:21 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Sigala, Ι.; Giannakas, T.; Giannakoulis, V.G.; Zervas, E.; Brinia, A.; Gianiou, N.; Asimakos, A.; Dima, E.; Kalomenidis, I.; Katsaounou, P. Effect of COVID-19-Related Lockdown οn Hospital Admissions for Asthma and COPD Exacerbations: Associations with Air Pollution and Patient Characteristics. J. Pers. Med. 2021, 11, 867. Sigala, Ι.; Giannakas, T.; Giannakoulis, V.G.; Zervas, E.; Brinia, A.; Gianiou, N.; Asimakos, A.; Dima, E.; Kalomenidis, I.; Katsaounou, P. Effect of COVID-19-Related Lockdown οn Hospital Admissions for Asthma and COPD Exacerbations: Associations with Air Pollution and Patient Characteristics. J. Pers. Med. 2021, 11, 867.

Journal reference: J. Pers. Med. 2021, 11, 867
DOI: 10.3390/jpm11090867

Abstract

We conducted a retrospective observational study to assess the hospitalization rates for acute exacerbations of asthma and/or COPD during the first imposed lockdown in Athens, Greece. Patient characteristics and the concentration of eight air pollutants (namely, CO, NO, NO2, O3 PM2.5, PM10, SO2 and benzene) were considered. A total of 153 consecutive hospital admissions were studied. Reduced admissions occurred in the lockdown period when compared to the Pre-lockdown 2020 (p<0.001) or the Control 2019 (p=0.007) period. Furthermore, the concentration of 6/8 air pollutants positively correlated with weekly hospital admissions in 2020 and significantly decreased during the lockdown. Finally, admitted patients for asthma exacerbation during the lockdown were younger (p=0.046) and less frequently presented respiratory failure (p=0.038), whereas patients with COPD presented higher blood eosinophil percentage (p=0.017) and count (p=0.012). Overall, admissions for asthma and COPD exacerbations decreased during the lockdown. This might partially explained by reduction of air pollution during this period while medical care avoidance behavior, especially among elderly patients cannot be excluded. Our findings aid in understanding the untold impact of the pandemic on diseases beyond COVID-19, focusing on patients with obstructive diseases..

Keywords

COVID-19; SARS-SoV-2; hospital admissions; COPD exacerbation; asthma exacerbation; air pollution

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