Heidelberg (TEH) – According to an expert, smokers infected with the coronavirus are at higher risk for a severe course of lung disease COVID-19. “Studies from China and the USA show that this risk is associated with previous tobacco-related diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and cancer is higher, “said Ute Mons from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg.
Individual studies indicated increased mortality for this group. “”The current COVID-19 pandemic can be an additional motivation to quit smoking,” emphasized the head of the DKFZ Cancer Prevention Unit. The six Chinese studies evaluated by the DKFZ relate to hospitalized patients, a US study to registered Infections. The data situation is not of the usual quality, explained Mons. The recording of previous illnesses and tobacco consumption is not a top priority in acute health emergencies and is therefore sometimes incomplete. Some patients are also unresponsive when they are admitted to the clinic.
“It is a matter of life and death and not a perfect medical history.” There is as yet no reliable scientific evidence that smokers are at greater risk of infection. “It would be plausible, however, because smokers put their hands, which may have been in contact with the virus, to their mouths more often than other people,” said Mons. An immediate smoking cessation could not undo the previous illnesses, but the increased fitness resulting from this could presumably alleviate difficult courses. Mons: “It is always worth to refrain from cigarettes, regardless of your age.”
The sooner you stop, the faster the health risks from tobacco consumption will weaken. There are currently no group courses on smoking cessation, but there are telephone and online offers, such as those from the Federal Center for Health Education (www.rauchfrei-info.de).