Research published in PLoS ONE assessed the association of smoking with COVID-19 complications.

In the present study, researchers investigated the effects of smoking on COVID-19 severity among hospitalized patients in the United States. Data were extracted from the American Heart Association (AHA) COVID-19 cardiovascular disease (CVD) registry. Patients aged 18 years or older hospitalized for COVID-19 between January 14, 2020, and March 31, 2021, were included in the study.

They included patients with valid information about admission/discharge dates, age, sex, and medical history. Patients with unknown discharge status and those who left against medical advice. The team classified patients as current smokers if they self-reported smoking at admission. Those who reported using e-cigarettes were deemed smokers. Smoking history and other information were not collected.

The study’s primary outcome was severe COVID-19, that is, the use of mechanical ventilation or in-hospital death. The secondary outcome was major adverse cardiac events (MACE), i.e., the occurrence of any of the following during hospitalization: heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, cardiogenic shock, myocarditis, or death by acute myocarditis heart failure, or stroke. Age, race/ethnicity, sex, past medical history, risk factors, medication use, and admission time frame were covariates. Read more here.

Smoking Linked With Psoriasis Risk

Smoking is causally associated with psoriasis, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Jiahe Wei, from Hangzhou Medical College in China, and colleagues examined the causal associations of alcohol consumption and smoking with psoriasis using genome-wide association study (GWAS) summary-level data for alcohol consumption, smoking initiation, cigarettes per day, and smoking cessation from the Sequencing Consortium of Alcohol and Nicotine use consortium and for lifetime smoking from the U.K. Biobank. Summary statistics for psoriasis were obtained from a recent GWAS meta-analysis of eight cohorts and the FinnGen consortium. Bidirectional Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses were performed to assess causal direction.

The researchers identified genetic correlations between smoking and psoriasis. A causal effect of smoking initiation, cigarettes per day, and lifetime smoking on psoriasis was revealed in MR (odds ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 1.46 [1.32 to 1.60], 1.38 [1.13 to 1.67], and 1.96 [1.41 to 2.73], respectively). In addition, there was a suggestive causal effect of smoking cessation on psoriasis (odds ratio, 1.39; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.07 to 1.79). No causal relationship was identified between alcohol consumption and psoriasis. Read more here.

Smoking Leads to Brain Atrophy in Certain MS Patients

The findings imply that patients should be advised and offered aid in smoking cessation shortly after diagnosis, to prevent long-term disability progression.

Smoking is correlated with brain atrophy and disability progression in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), according to results published in Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation. Øivind Torkildsen, MD, PhD, and colleagues examined the long-term impact of smoking using MRI and clinical outcome measures in smoking and non-smoking patients with RRMS. The study included 85 treatment-naïve patients with recent inflammatory disease activity who participated in a 10-year follow-up visit after a multicenter clinical trial of 24 months. After 10 years, smoking—as defined by serum cotinine levels—was associated with reduced total white matter volume and increased T2 lesion volume. When smoking status was defined by self-report, there was an additional association with decreased deep gray matter volume. Smoking was also associated with greater walking impairment on the log-timed 25-foot walk test after 10 years and a greater decline in attention scores. “The findings imply that patients should be advised and offered aid in smoking cessation shortly after diagnosis, to prevent long-term disability progression,” Dr. Torkildsen and colleagues wrote. Read more here.