Awareness of COVID-19 guidelines is high among young adults with asthma in Mexico, but nearly one-third do not comply with basic prevention measures to mitigate the spread of infection, researchers reported in the Journal of Asthma.
“Researchers from different countries have shown that the most efficient strategy that has reduced the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 in the general population in their countries has been the implementation of and compliance with some personal hygiene measures, such as hand-washing, wearing masks, staying at home and maintaining social distance,” Francisco Vázquez-Nava, PhD, with the faculty of medicine at Autonomous University of Tamaulipas in Tampico, Mexico, and colleagues wrote. “However, the knowledge of and adherence to these prevention measures in a restrictive sample of asthmatic patients has not been studied.”
The cross-sectional study included data from 2,372 participants aged 16 to 24 years who completed a questionnaire sent via email and WhatsApp that collected information on sociodemographics and whether they received instructions from health care professionals related to COVID-19 prevention. The study was conducted from April 8 to 24 in the Tampico-Madero-Altamira region of Mexico.
Asthma prevalence was 12.2%. Fifty-three percent of participants reported nonadherence to COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
In total, 30.8% of patients with asthma responded that they did not comply with basic COVID-19 prevention measures implemented by heath authorities, despite awareness of the guidelines and measures established to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Male sex, active smoking and the belief that COVID-19 is not a severe disease for patients with asthma than others were associated with nonadherence to COVID-19 protection guidelines, according to logistic regression analysis.
“Based on the results of this study, males who suffer from asthma are 2.11 times as likely to not comply with the basic control measures for the prevention of COVID-19 as women,” the researchers wrote.
According to the researchers, this is consistent with previous reports that showed men are less likely to be compliant with indications and medical treatments to prevent and control complications of their diseases. These results are especially important due to the highest prevalence of COVID-19 being recorded among men, they wrote.
“It is 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 disease and the timely use of medication for asthma control,” the researchers wrote.