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Smokers 80% more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid


Those who smoke are more likely to need hospital treatment and more likely to die from Covid-19, a new study has found.

Experts were previously unable to confirm whether smoking affects the risk of hospital admission if a person was to catch Covid-19.

But following a study led by Oxford University, the link between smoking and the risk of severe illness from coronavirus has been identified.

The research l ooked at both observational and genetic data – examining primary care records, Covid test results, hospital admissions and death certificates.

From 421,469 people included in the research, 1.649 tested positive for Covid. A total of 968 were admitted to hospital, with 444 tragically passing away with the virus.

Out of the group, 59 per cent had never smoked, over a third (37 per cent) were former smokes and 4 per cent still smoked.

Among current smokers, most (71 per cent) were light or moderate smokers – smoke one to 19 cigarettes per day – with 29 per cent classed as heavy smokers, smoking over 20 per day.

The results shows that current smokers had an 80 per cent higher risk of being admitted to hospital with the virus – compared to those who had never smoked.

Smokers are also twice as likely if they have smoked one to nine cigarettes per day.

Shockingly, people who smoke 10 to 19 cigarettes per said are said to be almost six times more likely to pass away if suffering from the virus.`

Heavy smokers – people who smoked more than 20 a day – were over six times more likely to die compared to people who had never smoked.

In terms of genetic analysis, the study showed that among those genetically more likely to smoke, there was a higher risk of Covid-19 infection as well as being more likely to need hospital treatment.

The authors of the study stated “results from two analytical approaches support a causal effect of smoking on risk of severe Covid-19”.

Dr Ashley Clift, the lead researcher from Oxford, said: “Our results strongly suggest that smoking is related to your risk of getting severe Covid, and just as smoking affects your risk of heart disease, different cancers, and all those other conditions we know smoking is linked to, it appears that it’s the same for Covid.

“So now might be as good a time as any to quit cigarettes and quit smoking.”

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