Treatment of tobacco dependency more important than ever as smokers face increased risk of severe COVID-related complications
Current smokers with COVID-19 are at increased risk for severe complications and face a higher mortality rate than former or never smokers.
Jaber Alqahtani from University College London and colleagues reviewed data from 15 studies in the USA and China including 2473 patients with COVID-19. The analysis, published in PLos ONE this week, found that current smokers with COVID-19 are 1.45 times more likely to have severe complications compared to former and never smokers. Smokers also face a higher mortality rate of 38.5% compared with a crude overall mortality rate of 7.4%. These findings emphasise the need to continue to encourage patients to quit smoking and to support them by treating their underlying tobacco dependency. Access the PCRS Pragmatic Guide to the treatment of tobacco dependency
Although the prevalence of COPD among the COVID-19 positive patients included in these studies is low (2%), the analysis also highlighted their increased risk for severe complications. Compared with patients without COPD, those with COPD are 1.88 times more likely to experience severe complications and face a higher mortality rate (60%).
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