News Coronavirus Smokers likely to be more at risk from coronavirus - EU agency

Smokers likely to be more at risk from coronavirus – EU agency

Smoking can make people more susceptible to serious complications from a coronavirus infection, the European Union agency for disease control said on Wednesday, citing scientific studies, although available data is still limited.

In its updated assessment of the risks caused by the coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2, the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) included smokers among those potentially most vulnerable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

It also said data from China showed 80% of people infected with the disease had only mild symptoms, but in Europe that percentage dropped to 70%, as three in every 10 cases have required hospitalisation.

Patients above 70 years of age and people with underlying conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Men are more vulnerable than women, the EU body said in its report.

Smokers have also appeared to be more susceptible to breathing complications caused by the disease, and the ECDC said it was advisable to identify them as a potential vulnerable group, confirming an earlier assessment.

The agency cited a study by Chinese doctors which on a sample of 99 patients affected by the coronavirus found that acute smokers were more at risk of dying than elderly people.

The ECDC report also said smoking was associated with heightened activity in the lungs of an enzyme, ACE2, that could make patients more vulnerable to COVID-19, citing a study conducted by Guoshuai Cai, from the University of South Carolina.

The activity of ACE2, or angiotensin converting enzyme 2, also increases with age and with some kinds of hypertension treatment – both risk factors – the ECDC said.

The study, also based on a small sample, concluded that smokers may be more susceptible to the virus.

It added that former smokers appeared to be more at risk than current smokers because the enzyme was more active in different cells in former smokers.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Trump says protesters would have met ‘vicious dogs’ if White House fence breached

U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said demonstrators protesting the death of a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on...

Paphos: Police publish photos of stolen valuables

  Police have found jewellery, watches and other valuables in the possession of a 22 year old and a 15 year old who are under...

Protests flare around the United States over Minneapolis killing

Violent protests flared overnight in several U.S. cities as demonstrators vented their anger over the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died...

Just one new Covid-19 case on Saturday; total at 943

  One person has tested positive for coronavirus from a total of 2061 tests, the Health Ministry said on Saturday, bringing the total since the...

Paphos: 10 hotels to reopen in June

  Ten of the 57 hotels in the Paphos district are expected to reopen in June, the president of the Paphos branch of the Cyprus...

Taste

Local cuisine: An introduction

Rich in fresh ingredients and tasty herbs, offers the very best of Mediterranean culinary delights. Head out to a tavern and feast on a...

Spiced lamb with beetroot salad and scented yoghurt

Lay the lamb on a tray, skin side down. Rub with crushed garlic, sprinkle with spices and ground pistachios, wrap in plastic wrap and...

Easy seafood pasta with white wine sauce

Ingredients: 2-3 tbsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, chopped 2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream 1/3 cup white wine 300g spaghetti, roughly broken 300-400g of...

Traditional salads that will blow your mind away

This traditional salads will make you actually love salads! Cyprus may be famous for souvla and kleftiko but if you try the traditional salads with...