A study conducted by a London university has revealed a habit more likely to make Covid symptoms worse.
In a study published in Thorax, scientists at King’s College London say smokers are more likely to attend hospital than non-smokers.
11 per cent of participants in the study, taken from data from the ZOE COVID Symptom Study App, were smokers.
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According to the data, smokers were 14 per cent more likely than non-smokers to develop Covid’s most recognisable symptoms: a fever, a persistent cough, and shortness of breath.
Symptom burden among smokers was also much more likely, with smokers 29 per cent more to report five or more symptoms associated with Covid.
Smokers were also 50 per cent more likely to report more than 10 symptoms, including loss of smell, skipping meals, and diarrhoea.
Those smokers who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were twice as likely to attend hospital.
Scientists recommended a smoking cessation strategy as a way to combat Covid, as smoking both increased the severity of the disease and the likelihood of symptoms.
“”Some reports have suggested a protective effect of smoking on COVID-19 risk. However, studies in this area can easily be affected by biases in sampling, participation and response,” said lead researcher and Senior Lecturer at King’s College London, Dr Mario Falchi.
“However, studies in this area can easily be affected by biases in sampling, participation and response.
“Our results clearly show that smokers are at increased risk of suffering from a wider range of COVID-19 symptoms than non-smokers.”
Another lead researcher, Claire Steves, Consultant physician and Reader at King’s College London, said: “As rates of COVID-19 continue to rise and the NHS edges towards capacity, it’s important to do all we can to reduce its effects and find ways to reduce hospital admissions.
“Our analysis shows that smoking increases a person’s likelihood to attend hospitals, so stopping smoking is one of the things we can do to reduce the health consequences of the disease.”