Smokers are at higher risk of being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19

A new study from the UK reveals that smokers are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and also more likely to die from the disease.

Scientists from the genetic research group UK Biobank looked at more than 420,000 volunteers between January and August 2020, and extracted data from general practitioners’ medical records, COVID-19 test results, patient admissions and death certificates to identify links between smoking and illness. seriously due to the corona virus.

The study, published in the medical journal Thorax, found that current smokers were 80 percent more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die from COVID-19.

The researchers used a technique called Mendelian randomization which uses genetic variants to represent a particular risk factor, in this case the variant that predisposes a person to become a heavy smoker, to obtain evidence of a causal relationship.

People check their cellphones in a smoking room at Shinagawa Station amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Tokyo, Japan, August 2, 2021.

People check their cellphones in a smoking room at Shinagawa Station amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Tokyo, Japan, August 2, 2021.

The study found someone who was genetically predisposed to smoking had a 45 percent risk of contracting COVID and a 60 percent higher risk of being hospitalized for the disease.

While the number of COVID-19 infections is slowly decreasing, the Japanese government is preparing to lift all emergency regulations related to COVID-19 for all regions of the country starting Thursday (30/9).

Japan has been under a state of emergency since April due to a spike in new cases triggered by the Delta variant, which lasted throughout the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Officials said the government would enact COVID-19 mitigation plans in lieu of emergencies, such as vaccine passports and coronavirus tests.

The designation of a national emergency will end while 57 percent of Japanese citizens have been fully vaccinated, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center said, while the daily number of confirmed cases has fallen below 2,000, well below the 25,000 per day recorded at the peak of the spike in cases. PM Yoshihide Suga is scheduled to officially announce the new plan on Tuesday (28/9). [uh/lt]

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