Study finds that people with allergies such as hay fever or asthma have a 40% reduced risk of contracting COVID-19.

  • The study surveyed more than 16,000 people in the UK from May 2020 to February 2021.
  • Atopic diseases such as eczema and hay fever, or rhinitis were associated with 23% less Covid risk.
  • Patients with asthma had 38% lower chances of getting Covid even when taking steroid-inhalers
  • Patients with underlying conditions, such as older patients or males, are not more at risk.

New research suggests that those suffering from allergies like hay fever may be at a greater risk for being infected.

Queen Mary University of London conducted a study of more than 16,000 people in the UK, between May 2020 to February 2021.

Researchers found that people with hay fever or eczema are almost 25 percent less likely than others to get the virus.

People with asthma had a 40% lower chance of getting infected than those who did not use steroid inhalers.

A new study from Queen Mary University of London found that people with allergic conditions such as hay fever, rhinitis, atopic diseases and asthma had an up to 40% lower risk of COVID-19 infection (file image)

Queen Mary University of London’s new study found that those suffering from allergies such as hay fever or rhinitis had a 40% reduced risk of COVID-19 (file image).

This study was published by Thorax and featured 16,081 participants. The subjects were aged between May 1, 2020 to February 5, 2021.

15 227 people filled at least one of the follow-up questions, while 14 348 completed the final questionnaire by February 5. 

We asked adults to give information such as their ages and heights, weights, lives, and if they took any drugs or were vaccinated against Covid.

Surprisingly, over three quarters (446) of participants tested positive during the period under study.

The risk of Covid infection was increased by the inclusion of socioeconomic and demographic factors, according to researchers.

They found that among those with atopic diseases – such as eczema and dermatitis, which are triggered by allergens – as well as those with hay fever or rhinitis had a 23 percent lower risk of Covid.

Inhaling steroid steroids can also reduce the risk of infection for those with asthma.

Surprisingly they discovered that older patients, those with other conditions or who are male, had a lower risk of getting infected than previous studies.

However, those of Asian descent or lived in overcrowded households  had higher odds of contracting COVID-19. 

Adults who are Asian-American or British were twice as likely to test positive than white Brits.

Each additional 0.5 person in a bedroom increases the chance of getting the virus 1.26 times.  

Researchers note that this is an observational study, and cannot prove cause. 

The researchers also noted that their research was completed before Omicron and Delta versions were developed. Therefore, it is not known if allergies are as strong against these new strains. 

They say more research is needed to determine if allergies cause an increased risk of infection.

In a press release, Professor Adrian Martineau, Queen Mary University, stated that the large population-based prospective study showed that risk factors for COVID-19 are not as closely linked to those for death and admission to intensive care units.