Does aeroallergen sensitivity and allergic rhinitis in children cause milder COVID-19 infection?

Vezir E., Hizal M., Yayla B. C. , Aykac K., Yilmaz A., Kaya G., ...More

Allergy and asthma proceedings, vol.42, no.6, pp.522-529, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.2500/aap.2021.42.210087
  • Journal Name: Allergy and asthma proceedings
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.522-529
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background: There are conflicting data with regard to the impact of respiratory and allergic comorbidities on the course of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between allergic diseases and COVID-19 severity in pediatric patients. Methods: Seventy-five pediatric patients with COVID-19 were classified according to clinical severity and evaluated in the allergy/immunology and pulmonology departments 1 to 3 months after the infection resolved. Blood was collected from the patients for a complete blood cell count and assessment of immunoglobulin and total immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels, and skin-prick tests and spirometry tests were performed. Results: A total of 75 patients ages 5-18 years were evaluated. COVID-19 was asymptomatic/mild in 44 patients and moderate/severe/critical in 31 patients. Based on allergy evaluation, allergic rhinitis was diagnosed in 19 patients (25.3%), asthma in 10 patients (13%), and atopic dermatitis in 3 patients (4%). Aeroallergen sensitivity was detected in 26 patients (34.7%). COVID-19 infection was asymptomatic/mild in 15 patients with allergic rhinitis (78.9%) and in 21 with aeroallergen sensitivity (80.8%) (p = 0.038 and p = 0.005, respectively). There was no difference in severity between the patients with and without asthma (p = 0.550). The median (interquartile range) total IgE level was significantly higher in the asymptomatic/mild group (71.8 [30.7-211.2]) (p = 0.015). There were no differences in terms of spirometry parameters. Conclusion: Aeroallergen sensitization and allergic rhinitis in children may be associated with a milder course of COVID19. The knowledge that atopy is associated with less-severe COVID-19 outcomes in children may guide clinical risk classification.