Smokers, vegetarians at lower risk of contracting Covid-19: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 18, 2021

Earlier studies have claimed smokers are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms of Covid-19

A new nationwide survey carried out by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) revealed that vegetarians and smokers are at lesser risk of contracting coronavirus due to low seropositivity, as per media reports.

The survey was conducted across CSIR’s nearly 40 institutes. It further noted people with blood type ‘O’ are less vulnerable to the virus. While ‘B’ and ‘AB’ are at an elevated risk of contracting Covid-19.

For the study, CSIR collected samples from 10,427 adult individuals working in its laboratories and their family members who voluntarily participated in the survey study.

The CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi, study stated that of the 10,427 individuals, 1,058 (10.14 per cent) had antibodies against Covid-19.

This is juxtaposed to earlier studies that have claimed smokers are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms of Covid-19.

Previous studies have also cautioned smokers to stop using tobacco-based products to prevent severe symptoms of the virus.

However, the new survey study suggested that smoking may be protective against Covid-19 even though it is a respiratory illness.

“The study found that higher seropositivity was found for those using public transport and with occupational responsibilities such as security, housekeeping personnel, non-smokers, and non-vegetarians.”

“Use of private transport, lower-exposure occupations, smoking, vegetarianism, and ‘A’ or ‘O’ blood groups appeared to be protective, using seropositivity as a surrogate for infection,” the paper added.

Published on January 18, 2021

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