French researchers to test nicotine patches on coronavirus patients

by Kim Willsher in Paris

Study – which stresses serious health risks of smoking – suggest substance in tobacco may lower risk of getting coronavirus

French researchers are planning to test nicotine patches on coronavirus patients and frontline health workers after a study suggested smokers may be much less at risk of contracting the virus.

The study at a major Paris hospital suggests a substance in tobacco – possibly nicotine – may be stopping patients who smoke from catching Covid-19. Clinical trials of nicotine patches are awaiting the approval of the country’s health authorities.

However, the researchers insisted they were not encouraging the population to take up smoking, which carries other potentially fatal health risks and kills 50% of those who take it up. While nicotine may protect those from the virus, smokers who have caught it often develop more serious symptoms because of the toxic effect of tobacco smoke on the lungs, they say.

The team at Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital questioned 480 patients who tested positive for the virus, 350 of whom were hospitalised while the rest with less serious symptoms were allowed home.

It found that of those admitted to hospital, whose median age was 65, only 4.4% were regular smokers. Among those released home, with a median age of 44, 5.3% smoked.

Taking into account the age and sex of the patients, the researchers discovered the number of smokers was much lower than that in the general population estimated by the French health authority Santé Publique France at about 40% for those aged 44-53 and between 8.8% and 11.3% for those aged 65-75.

The renowned French neurobiologist Jean-Pierre Changeux, who reviewed the study, suggested the nicotine might stop the virus from reaching cells in the body preventing its spread. Nicotine may also lessen the overreaction of the body’s immune system that has been found in the most severe cases of Covid-19 infection.

The findings are to be verified in a clinical study in which frontline health workers, hospital patients with the Covid-19 virus and those in intensive care will be given nicotine patches.

The results confirm a Chinese study published at the end of March in the New England Journal of Medicine that suggested only 12.6% of 1,000 people infected with the virus were smokers while the number of smokers in China is around 28%.

In France, figures from Paris hospitals showed that of 11,000 patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19, 8.5% were smokers. The total number of smokers in France is estimated at around 25.4%.

“Our cross-sectional study strongly suggests that those who smoke every day are much less likely to develop a symptomatic or severe infection with Sars-CoV-2 compared with the general population,” the Pitié-Salpêtrière report authors wrote.

“The effect is significant. It divides the risk by five for ambulatory patients and by four for those admitted to hospital. We rarely see this in medicine,” it added.

(This article first appeared here. -ed)

Share:FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Translate

Follow WordPress.com on WordPress.com

Follow Us

FacebooktwitterpinterestyoutubetumblrinstagramFacebooktwitterpinterestyoutubetumblrinstagram

Recent Comments

Donate via PayPal

Donate Via Patreon

Twitter Feed

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 at 8:19am
To all of you who may have commented on the site, sorry if your message was mistakenly flagged as 'spam'... I have way too much #spam to deal with ! This is with Captcha enabled, too. https://t.co/uACsMSlKJK TheVaporNinja photo
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020 at 5:13pm
PROTECT #vape MAIL!
ALL VAPING ACCESS THREATENED IN PROPOSED BILL.
TAKE ACTION AT @CASAAmedia !
https://t.co/PXcZt5Druf
Thursday, December 17th, 2020 at 11:59am
@Vapingit @DrTomFrieden YES indeed #vaping has helped literally millions of humans quit the dreaded #tobacco . It should be lauded as one the most beneficial technologies of this century. Encouraged, government subsidized, and normalized. The CDC has been mired in problems for years. Time for reform.
Saturday, December 12th, 2020 at 10:33pm
Hey, participate, make your voice HEARD. Include your story about why flavors help you stay off of #tobacco ! I know they help ME stay off of the stinkies ! #vape on ! https://t.co/EQPR0so9Rm
TheVaporNinja photo
CASAA @CASAAmedia
2020 VAPE CONSUMER SURVEY: The annual eCigIntelligence survey, done in conjunction with CASAA, gathers and shares factual information to ensure U.S. stakeholders and policymakers better understand the TRUTH about how and why adults vape (like flavors)!

https://t.co/2cogzH4Upc https://t.co/abOyHbQxwg
Monday, November 30th, 2020 at 5:36am
Scientific trial results in showing that 'dual-use' of #ecig and #tobacco significantly reduces toxins.
https://t.co/Ncrxtjp2Ve
Saturday, October 10th, 2020 at 5:02am
@ChaunceyGardner @Dstat_THR @asthma I have COPD from my many years of tobacco abuse. I was wheezing and using inhalers. After quitting tobacco via vape technology, a few months later I was inhaler-free, symptom-free, and my doctor says my lungs sounds perfect. I was also using oxygen occasionally. Saved by the vape
Saturday, September 26th, 2020 at 4:24pm
@GrimmGreen @KatTimpf The last beef I ate was in about 1988.
You can do it too.
It's unnecessary and harmful. :)
Saturday, September 26th, 2020 at 4:16pm
Goodbye and farewell to @MendocinoVapors , they had to close shop due to being deemed 'non-essential'.
https://t.co/Koa3mL7D7z
Thursday, September 24th, 2020 at 9:44am
@ChaunceyGardner I think the period after 'cost' was a typo, they meant to say 'more cost effective'.
Thursday, September 24th, 2020 at 9:39am
@ElianaGolber Glantz.
Just seeing that name on a study should invalidate it immediately.
Saturday, September 19th, 2020 at 5:07pm
I can't believe it's been a YEAR since #India has banned vaping. #vapingsaveslives and India has a high prevalance of #tobacco use.
I hope the protests go well and make a difference. https://t.co/6jIxGIdgKk