New research suggests that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is linked with more severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection.

Canadian researchers performed a systematic review of studies to date that have reported the prevalence of respiratory diseases and/or smoking in patients with COVID-19. In total, 22 studies with a pooled population of 13,184 patients with COVID-19 were included in a meta-analysis.

Patients were considered to have a severe case of COVID-19 if they demonstrated worsening of clinical symptoms, met specific criteria described in current clinical guidelines, or required care in the intensive care unit.

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