In a new study of 78 patients who had COVID-19 induced pneumonia, it was found that patients in whom the disease progressed had a history of smoking and were older than the patients who were stabilizing. About 14% patients involved in the study went through a severe stage, it said.

The study, published in Chinese Medical Journal, examined how pneumonia progresses in coronavirus patients. The new revelation that smokers are the worst-affected or take longer to recover adds another dimension to anti-smoking campaign around the world.

The Wuhan Coronavirus has so far infected about 114,448 worldwide, while 64,156 have recovered from it. The death toll has crossed 4,000 worldwide.

Factors additional to smoking

Smoking
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However there are several other factors which the study found. The pace of pneumonia progressed in COVID-19 patients who are older and had a history of smoking. They showed symptoms of maximum body temperature on admission, respiratory failure, albumin, C-reactive protein (CRP). The study found more CRP levels and low levels of albumin in such patients.

Liver failure?

C-reactive protein (CRP) and albumin are proteins that are made by the liver. High CRP levels in blood usually occurs when there is a condition causing inflammation somewhere in the body, while low albumin levels indicate a problem with liver or kidneys. Albumin carries various substances throughout the body, including hormones, vitamins, and enzymes that are very much required in times of a severe condition.

Over 1 billion people around the world are smokers, which means 20% of the world population, according to a 2014 WHO report, and Chinese smoke more than 40% of all cigarettes produced globally, said another 2016 report.

NYC mayor warns

Those who are smoking or vaping through electronic cigarettes are more vulnerable to coronavirus, said Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City at a Sunday press conference recently. Health officials, he said, are increasingly concerned about people aged over 50 years and with history of heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes and other disorders that compromise their immune system, as all these are linked to smoking.