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Intranasal Corticosteroids Tied to Less Severe COVID-19 Outcomes

Findings seen among individuals regularly using steroid nasal sprays before COVID-19 diagnosis

FRIDAY, Oct. 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Intranasal corticosteroid (INCS) therapy is associated with a lower risk for COVID-19-related hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and death, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

Ronald Strauss, M.D., from the Cleveland Allergy and Asthma Center, and colleagues used data from the Cleveland Clinic COVID-19 Research Registry to find propensity-matched individuals positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection treated with and without INCS before SARS-CoV-2 infection (April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021).

The researchers found that compared with nonusers, INCS users had a lower risk for hospitalization (adjusted odds ratio, 0.78), ICU admission (adjusted odds ratio, 0.77), and in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio, 0.76). Even after adjusting for baseline blood eosinophil count (measured before SARS-CoV-2 testing) in a subset of 30,289 individuals, the beneficial effect of INCS was significant.

“This study shows the importance of the nose in COVID-19 infection,” a coauthor said in a statement. “The nose, in this instance is the gateway to our bodies, allowing the virus to enter and replicate within. The use of intranasal corticosteroids may help disrupt that gateway.”

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