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QU Health Researchers find an association between smoking and COVID-19 symptoms in non-vaccinated patients in Qatar | Qatar University

QU Health Researchers find an association between smoking and COVID-19 symptoms in non-vaccinated patients in Qatar

2022-06-06 00:00:00.0
صورة جماعية للفريق البحثي

In collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health

A group of researchers at QU Health, Qatar University, Hamad Medical Corporation and the Ministry of Public Health studied the association between developing COVID-19 symptoms and smoking through a cross-sectional study.
The database of the Ministry of Public Health for the population of Qatar was used which included phone call questionnaires filled between February 27, 2020 and December 31, 2020. All participants were unvaccinated smokers and nonsmokers above 18 years old with RT-PCR confirmed covid-19 infection. 97% of the study population were males.

Smoking is considered a risk factor for various diseases including respiratory and cardio-metabolic diseases which affect infected individuals the most. The results showed that smoking is associated with developing COVID-19 symptoms and with high infection and severity rates in adults. Moreover, participants with COPD and cancer were at higher risk for developing COVID-19.

QU College of Medicine Professor of Basic Medical Sciences Dr Ala-Eddin Al Moustafa, the senior and corresponding author of this investigation, commented: “Exploring the compounding effect of smoking on COVID-19 patients is a continuation of one of the key focus areas of our lab that investigates the detrimental effects of smoking in general, and water pipe smoking in particular, on cancer and pregnancy. I am particularly proud of this work since it highlights the efforts of our undergraduate students at the College of Medicine, whereby they explore the important field of medical research and announce their findings worldwide via peer-reviewed publications.”

QU College of Medicine student Mohammad Haider, the first author of this publication, added: “As medical students, it is important for me and my colleagues to explore the correlation between known risk factors such as smoking and their detrimental effect in the face of a global pandemic. I am happy that I had the chance to explore such concepts and publish them during my studies, which is a unique experience that is not normally available for undergraduate students. Based on our findings, it is clear that smoking is a serious public health concern that should be addressed in order to minimize its effects on various aspects of our health, including COVID-19 infection.”

The research team concluded that there is an association between smoking and COVID-19 symptoms; however, there should be more investigations done for the proper management of covid-19 in smokers and mechanism of this association.

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