Food allergies reduced the risk of COVID-19 » Medvestnik


The risk of getting COVID-19 appears to be lower in people with food allergies. The presence of bronchial asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis did not affect the likelihood of infection with coronavirus.

Food allergies reduced the risk of coronavirus infection, while asthma and other allergic diseases had no effect on the risk of COVID-19, the HEROS study found, carried out by scientists from National Jewish Health in Denver and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the US National Institutes of Health. The results were published on the website of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases with reference to the Journal of allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The risk of COVID-19 was 50% lower among participants with food allergies (hazard ratio (RR) 0.50). At the same time, asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis did not affect the likelihood of coronavirus infection (RR = 1.04).

The study results confirmed that an increase in body mass index (BMI) is associated with the risk of COVID-19 infection. Every 10 point increase in body mass index percentile increased the likelihood of coronavirus infection by 9%.

The risk of infection with coronavirus was similar among children under 12 years of age, adolescents and adults. However, 75% of children and 59% of adolescents were asymptomatic. If one family member was infected, in 58% of cases everyone who came into contact with him became ill.




More than 4,000 people from 1,400 families took part in the study. Each family included children and young people under 21 years of age. Nasal swabs for coronavirus were taken every 2 weeks from all study participants. The presence of food allergy was confirmed by the level of specific IgE.

The study authors believe that type 2 inflammation, characteristic of allergic diseases, may reduce the level of ACE2 receptors on the surface of airway cells, thereby reducing the likelihood of infection. In addition, patients with food allergies visited food establishments less often, which reduced the number of contacts.



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