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Older smokers at greater risk of death from COVID-19, researchers find

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Researchers at the University of Texas Health in Houston found that the older a smoker is, the higher risk they have of dying from COVID-19.

“It’s likely mediated by the effects of age and co-morbidities,” said UT Health Houston Pulmonologist Dr. Daniel Puebla Neira.

Dr. Neira was a researcher in the study, which included 10,000 patients at UT Health Hospital in Galveston. His researchers found that 21 percent of former smokers studied were hospitalized for COVID-19.

“Hispanic patients do have, unfortunately, an increased risk for hospitalization,” Dr. Neira said.

Doctors recommend smokers to quit the habit, not just because of the pandemic, but for other bacterial and viral infections, such as the seasonal flu.

The director for research at DHR hospital adds the body of a smoker is weaker at defending itself from similar diseases.

If you want to quit smoking, speak with your doctor about options.

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