Smokers 45% More Likely To Die From Covid-19

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  • Smokers were 45% more likely to die than non-smokers from COVID-19.
  • Some people say smoking’s bad, some people say not so bad.
  • However, some subgroups were more likely to be at risk of death from COVID-19 than others.

According to a recent study, smokers and vapers are more likely to develop a severe form of COVID-19 or pass away from the condition as reported by ABC News.

Limited information 

People who reported the use of tobacco products prior to their hospitalization were 39% more likely to be put on mechanical ventilation than non-smokers.

What’s more, they were 45% more likely to die.

Although it’s well-known that smoking and vaping damage the lungs and suppress the immune system, making people more susceptible to COVID-19 and less likely to fight off the illness, there is limited information on the link between smoking and COVID-19 severity.

He added, “There’s been a lot of work, a lot of observational work that’s been done in the area with claims and counterclaims.”

Some people say smoking’s bad, some people say not so bad.

“So we thought that we really did need a large, comprehensive study to address the issue.”

Risk level 

People were classified as smokers if they reported current use of traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

However, the study did not evaluate if there was a difference in risk level between those who vape versus those who smoke.

Bhatangar said the risk estimates were a bit surprising and even “higher than we thought it would be.”

Additionally, white smokers had a higher risk of COVID death than Black and Hispanic patients, groups that have been disproportionately affected by the virus and its complications.

However, Hispanic patients were more likely to be put on a ventilator.

Admitting  patients 

Smoking was also linked to a higher risk of death among smokers with underlying conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease as well as those receiving anticoagulants before their hospitalization.

The team says its study has some limitations including a lack of complete smoking history for participants and no information on how many cigarettes or other tobacco products the patients used per day or for how many years.

For future research, Bhatangar said he is interested in studying how smoking affects vaccine outcomes, whether smoking increases the risk of infection, the difference between current smokers and former smokers, and the same things among a larger vaping group.

“The obvious message is that if you’re a smoker you do have a higher risk, [then] the general advice is always quit smoking altogether,” he said. 

“But the more important part … is with physicians and admitting hospitals, it is important to take medical history [into account] because maybe smokers are more likely to turn onto severe disease and may need more aggressive medical care because they are more likely to turn onto ventilators.”

 

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Source: ABC News 

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