Why Asthma Attacks Declined During The Pandemic

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A team of doctors tracking asthma patients has made a surprising discovery about what causes asthma attacks — and it's largely thanks to the pandemic.

Scientists started surveying Black and Latino people with the respiratory condition in 2018, hoping to learn more about why those groups have disproportionate rates of severe asthma.

When COVID-19 emerged, doctors worried the respiratory disease would wreak havoc on people already suffering from asthma. Instead, they saw a steep drop-off in the number of emergency room visits and self-reported asthma attacks. That finding is prompting a reexamination of what really prompts asthma attacks.

Here & Now's Celeste Headlee speaks with Justin Salciccioli, a pulmonary and critical care fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

This segment aired on July 22, 2021.


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