Living with seasonal allergies is usually a pretty sucks thing – every year at a regular time the eyes start to water, the nose starts to run and the annoying cough does not let up. It’s hard to think of allergy benefits, but here’s a new and quite comforting one – a new study claims that people with allergies are actually less likely to develop corona.
The study was based on an analysis of data collected from 15,000 participants in the UK between May 2020 and February 2021, and its findings recently published in the journal Thorax indicate an inverse relationship between predisposition to allergies of various types and the chance of developing covid-19 following virus infection.
Prof. Adrian Marino and colleagues at Queen Mary University in London analyzed the database and segmented it according to a variety of demographic characteristics as well as according to the exposure and infection of its participants in the corona virus. Nearly 3 percent of study participants contracted covid-19 during the study period.
Some of the researchers’ conclusions are already known from previous studies and confirm them, indicating a higher chance of contracting the virus for people who: live in crowded and crowded homes, have met in enclosed spaces with people who are not family members, are obese or have certain ethnic characteristics. Certain occupations have also been found to carry an increased risk of contracting the coronavirus, according to the study.
The chances of infection are tens of percent lower
However, the study also had findings that were inconsistent with the findings of previous studies – for example, in the current data analysis it was not found that men have a higher risk than women of becoming infected. Nor was older age marked in this study as a risk factor for infection (although it was certainly a risk factor for serious morbidity and hospitalization).
The researchers also looked at the link between other factors and the risk of getting corona, factors that had not been tested before in other studies – such as diet and taking supplements. Most of them were not found to have any significance or effect on infection and morbidity in the virus. But one of them nonetheless brought up an interesting relationship with the virus. People with atopic diseases (diseases whose cause is an allergen, such as eczema, hay fever, etc.) had a 23 percent lower chance of contracting corona during the study period. After the researchers processed this data and cleared it of other distracting factors, they found that a combination of atopic disease and asthma even lowered participants’ chances of infection even further, and they were 38 percent less likely to contract the disease, relative to the general population.
Since the present study is merely observational, it can only point to a possible connection between the two factors and not explain it. But one of the explanations given by the researchers is that people who suffer from allergies may take into account that if even something like pollen can upset the immune system, then all the more so a virus that has claimed the lives of millions around the world, and therefore take extra care . And it is likely that the same consideration also applies to asthmatics whose possibility of contracting a respiratory virus must have caused them to take as few risks as possible.
However, there may also be a possible biological and not just behavioral biological explanation for this: In the past, “the researchers noted in their article.