Michael Wechsler, MD: Asthma Patients During COVID-19

September 10, 2020
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

Asthma patients have not had higher rates of negative outcomes from COVID-19 than other individuals.

When the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic began it was conventional wisdom that asthma patients might fare worse than other individuals because the viral infection tends to attack the lungs more than other organ systems.

However, 6 months of data shows that asthma patients do not have significantly worse COVID-19 outcomes than the general population.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Michael E. Wechsler, MD, MMSc, Director of the National Jewish Cohen Family Asthma Institute, said 1 of the main reasons for this trend could be that asthma patients tend to adhere to their medications.

Wechsler explained that corticosteroids, which are commonly used to treat asthma, have shown efficacy treating COVID-19 patients.

Wechsler was part of a research group that presented new results during the European Respiratory Society (ERS) 2020 International Congress showing dupilumab as an effective and safe long-term treatment for asthma.

The trial, which represents the largest study of a biologic medicine ever conducted in asthma, demonstrated dupilumab promotes sustained improvements in lung function and asthma exacerbations across a broad patient population with type 2 inflammation, while maintaining a consistent safety profile for up to 3 years.

Wechsler explained how this could make a major impact on asthma treatment.