This could be the first time you’ve ever heard that smoking might actually help SAVE a life.
One bizarre discovery that researchers in France have made is a correlation between patients who require hospitalization and smoking. Quite the opposite of what most of us would expect, it’s an INVERSE correlation. And it isn’t just showing up in France, either.
Those patients who DON’T smoke are at a higher risk of needing hospital treatment than those who don’t. So doctors are starting a trial to see if nicotine patches will help their recovery.
It’s not yet clear whether something in the nicotine might make it harder for the virus to infect cells and replicate, if dampens the immune response, protecting from the ‘Cytokine Storm‘ danger of an overly-strong immune response, or if it even helps at all. (Cytokine storms are part of what has often been hospitalizing people.)
But the correlation is intriguing enough that they want to explore the hypothesis.
Doctors at a major hospital in Paris – who also found low rates of smoking among the infected – are now planning to give nicotine patches to COVID-19 patients.
They will also give them to frontline workers to see if the stimulant has any effect on preventing the spread of the virus, according to reports.
It comes after world-famous artist David Hockney last week said he believes smoking could protect people against the deadly coronavirus.
MailOnline looked at the science and found he may have been onto something, with one researcher saying there was ‘bizarrely strong’ evidence it could be true.
One study in China, where the pandemic began, showed only 6.5 per cent of COVID-19 patients were smokers, compared to 26.6 per cent of the population.
Another study, by the Centers for Disease Control in the US, found just 1.3 per cent of hospitalised patients were smokers – compared to 14 per cent of America.
And research by hospitals in Paris found that smokers were under-represented in both inpatients and outpatients, suggesting that any protective effect could affect anyone, not just those hospitalised by their illness.
The French study, performed at Pitié Salpêtrière – part of the Hôpitaux de Paris, used data from 480 patients who tested positive for the virus.
Three hundred and fifty were hospitalized and the remainder recovered at home.
Results showed that of the patients hospitalized, with a median age of 65, only 4.4 percent were regular smokers. But among those at home, with a median age of 44, 5.3 percent smoked.
By comparison, among the general population, 40 percent of those between ages 44 and 53 smoke, and around 11 percent of those aged 65 to 75 smoke.
Source: Daily Mail
Did you ever think you’d see the day?
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