According to a major study, smoking increases the severity of Covid-19 and the chance of dying from the illness. Several studies conducted early in the epidemic found that patients treated to hospitals with Covid-19 had a lower proportion of active smokers than the overall population, perplexing experts.
However, researchers from the University of Oxford used observational and genetic data to demonstrate that smokers were 80% more likely to be admitted to hospital and substantially more likely to die from Covid-19, according to the latest study.
The results, which were published online in the respiratory journal Thorax, showed that a genetic propensity to smoking was linked to a 45 percent increased risk of infection and a 60 percent increased risk of hospitalisation in Covid-19.
It also revealed that a genetic proclivity to smoke extensively was linked to a more than doubling of the chance of infection, a five-fold rise in the risk of hospitalisation, and a ten-fold increase in the risk of mortality from the virus.
“Our findings strongly suggest that smoking is linked to your risk of severe Covid,” said lead researcher Ashley Clift of the varsity’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. “Just as smoking affects your risk of heart disease, different cancers, and all of the other conditions we know smoking is linked to, it appears that it’s the same for Covid” he added.
“So now may be as good a moment as any to quit smoking, because quitting smoking sends a clear message to smokers,” he added.
The study looked at data from general care records, COVID-19 test results, hospitalizations, and death certificates. The study looked at data from 421,469 persons to see if there was a relationship between the severity of COVID-19 infection and smoking.
In comparison to those who had never smoked, active smokers had an 80% higher chance of hospitalisation and a substantial risk of mortality, according to the data.
The study revealed that “genetic propensity to smoking” was connected to a 45 percent greater risk of infection and a 60 percent increased risk of hospitalisation using a technique known as Mendelian randomization.
On the other hand, there were 440 hospitalizations among the 250,000 nonsmokers or one in roughly 600. According to the Daily Mail, the researchers discovered a total of 159 Covid fatalities or one in every 1,666 people. In a related editorial, Imperial College London’s Drs Anthony Laverty and Christopher Millet said, “The concept that cigarette smoking may protect against Covid-19 was always an unlikely one.”