Smokers, former smokers face twice the risk of severe Coronavirus progression: Study

A man wearing a protective mask smokes a cigarette near the tracks in a slum, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Reuters)

Smokers and former smokers, including those who vape, face twice the risk of contracting severe cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus compared to non-smokers, according to a new study from the University of California, San Francisco.

“Our analysis confirms that smoking is a risk factor for progression of COVID-19, with smokers having 1.91-times the odds of progression in COVID-19 severity than never smokers. This finding contrasts with an earlier meta-analysis,6 which included only 5 studies and used a non-standard method to compute the meta-analysis,” authors of the UCSF study concluded.

The study looked at and summarized 19 peer-reviewed papers presenting data on the association between smoking and the severity of COVID-19.

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The results after reviewing those studies found that out of a total of 11,590 COVID-19 patients, 2,133 (18.4 percent) experienced disease progression, and 731 (6.3 percent) with a history of smoking. A total of 218 patients with a history of smoking (29.8 percent) experienced disease progression, compared with 17.6 percent of non-smoking patients, according to the UCSF analysis.

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“Smoking is associated with COVID-19 disease progression. Physicians and public health professionals should collect data on smoking and, given the pulmonary effects of e-cigarettes, e-cigarette use as part of clinical assessments and add smoking (and, to be health-protective, e-cigarette) cessation to the list of practices to blunt the COVID-19 pandemic,” the study’s authors concluded.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:58 - GMT 06:58
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