A recent study has found that patients who use nasal steroids for asthma or allergies may be at lower risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic analyzed data collected from Covid patients and compared outcomes for those who used and didn’t use nasal steroids.

Nasal sprays were 22 per cent less likely to result in severe Covid-related hospitalizations for patients who used them. 

They were also 23 Percent less likely than their peers to need intensive care, and 24 Percent less likely that they would die from the virus.

The research provides insight into the role of protein receptors in nasal health and suggests that nasal sprays could be an option for Covid. 

‘This study shows the importance of the nose in Covid infection,’ one of the lead researchers said.

People who use nasal steroid sprays - for allergies, asthma, or other similar conditions - may be at a lower risk for severe Covid cases, a new study finds

A new study has found that nasal steroid sprays may have a lower chance of severe Covid cases in people who use them.

Patients who used nasal steroid sprays were 22% less likely to be hospitalized with Covid, 23% less likely to require ICU care, and 24% less likely to die in the hospital

Patients who used nasal steroid creams were 22% less likely be hospitalized with Covid, 23% fewer likely to need ICU care and 24% fewer likely to die in hospital.

Many researchers have discovered that ACE2, a protein receptor, is crucial in the study of Covid over the past year and a quarter.

This receptor can be found on many cells in the body, from the nose to the deepest parts of the digestive system.

Coronavirus binds to ACE2 receptors, and enters cells when it encounters one.

Some studies have shown that the ACE2 receptors of the nose are crucial in facilitating coronavirus travel from the body to other parts.

A higher level of ACE2 receptor activity can cause Covid to be more severe in patients with Covid.

This connection was noticed by Dr Ronald Strauss, an allergist/immunologist in Cleveland.

He wondered if steroid drugs to suppress ACE2 activity in his nose could help patients against severe Covid.

These drugs are sprayed into the nasal cavity to treat allergies, asthma, or other conditions.

Strauss conducted a study in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic, an academic medical center located in Cleveland, Ohio, to test his hypothesis.

The study was published in August by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology – In Practice.

Strauss and other researchers used anonymized patient records from the Cleveland Clinic database to compare Covid outcomes between patients who used and didn’t use nasal steroids.

The study involved 72,000 patients who had tested positive for Covid from April 2020 to March 2021.

About 10,000 of those patients had a prescription for nasal steroids prior to their Covid infection.

Researchers matched patients who used nasal sprays to those who didn’t, based on their age and sex.

The researchers compared patients who did and did not use nasal steroid sprays through a variety of analyses - finding each time that the patients who used nasal sprays were at lower risk for Covid hospitalization, ICU admission, and death

Through a variety analysis, the researchers compared patients who used nasal steroid injections with those who didn’t. Each time, they found that patients who used nasal sprays were less likely to be admitted to the ICU, die, or be hospitalized for Covid.

Researchers noted that patients who had used nasal steroid sprays were more likely have Covid comorbidities.

However, nasal steroid users had lower rates for death, ICU admissions, and hospitalizations, indicating that they were less at risk for severe Covid. 

Users of nasal sprays were 23 percent less likely than others to be admitted to an ICU, and 24 percent less likely that they would die from Covid during hospitalization.

This trend was maintained when the researchers adjusted their analysis in order to account for Covid therapies, such as monoclonal antibodies and remdesivir.

Strauss’ hypothesis was confirmed when the results showed that nasal steroids could block ACE2 activity in patients’ noses and prevent the coronavirus reaching further into their bodies.

“This study shows the importance the nose in COVID-19 infections,” said Dr Joe Zein, a Cleveland Clinic pulmonologist and the lead author of the study.

Zein stated that the nose is the gateway to our bodies and allows the virus to enter and reproduce within. The use of intramuscular corticosteroids could help to block that gateway.

More research is needed in order to determine the relationship between ACE2 receptors and coronavirus replication as well as other aspects of Covid diseases.

This study used electronic health records of patients to conduct the study, rather than directly studying them.

Additionally, the study was limited to Cleveland. The findings may not be applicable to other parts.

The researchers remain optimistic that nasal steroids sprays could be used in Covid treatment.

These drugs are affordable and easily available over-the-counter in many locations.

Strauss stated that the findings were particularly important because they showed that a decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations, ICU admissions and mortality could ease the strain on health systems with limited resources around the world, especially in developing countries, where vaccines are scarce and where mutations of SARS-CoV-2 have been discovered.