Almost a third of young adults with asthma are ignoring COVID-19 guidelines, says survey

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Awareness of guidelines to prevent COVID-19 is high among young asthma sufferers but around a third do not comply with them, according to a new survey published in the Journal of Asthma. The results also reveal that a fifth of asthmatics believe they have no risk of suffering from COVID-19.

While patients can be assumed to be at higher risk of developing respiratory complications from COVID-19, little is known about their adherence to prevention measures. To find out more, Professor Francisco Vázquez-Nava of the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas, in Mexico, and colleagues surveyed 2,372 aged 16-24 years from the Tampico-Madero-Altamira area, northwest of Mexico City, via an emailed questionnaire.

The researchers found that more than half (53.1%) of all respondents were not complying with the guidelines for COVID-19 prevention. Of those with asthma (12.2%), 100% were aware of the guidelines and measures established to prevent COVID-19 but 30.8% said they did not comply with them. A fifth (20.4%) of asthmatic participants believed they had no risk of suffering from COVID-19, and 3.8% stated that the disease did not exist.

Being male, a smoker and believing that COVID-19 is not more severe for people suffering from asthma made respondents less likely to follow measures for the prevention of COVID-19. The authors believe this is the first study to show such a relationship.

The study also found that 44.3% of patients with asthma hadn't received instructions from their doctor about the measures they should take to prevent COVID-19, and 20.4% were not advised by their treating doctor about theuse of medications to control asthma during the pandemic. This is of particular concern as 20.4% of theasthmatic participants thought they had no risk of suffering from COVID-19, and 3.8% stated that the disease did not exist.

"Our results show that a substantial percentage of do not comply with COVID-19 mitigationmeasures. Moreover, an important proportion of asthmatic patients smoke and consider that COVID-19 is not a serious disease for them. It's important that people who suffer from asthma be advised by a health professional during the COVID-19 outbreak regarding compliance with basic measures of protection against the and the timely use of medications for asthma control," the authors conclude.


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More information: Francisco Vázquez-Nava et al, Risk factors of non-adherence to guidelines for the prevention of COVID-19 among young adults with asthma in a region with a high risk of a COVID-19 outbreak, Journal of Asthma (2020). DOI: 10.1080/02770903.2020.1818774
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Citation: Almost a third of young adults with asthma are ignoring COVID-19 guidelines, says survey (2020, December 9) retrieved 15 January 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-12-young-adults-asthma-covid-guidelines.html
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