Smoking may raise the risk of Covid-19 by elevating enzymes that allow the coronavirus to gain access into lung cells, according to a new study.
Smokers and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may have elevated levels of an enzyme called ACE-2, which helps the virus enter cells in their lungs, where it replicates, a study published in the European Respiratory Journal Thursday showed.
The research, led by Janice Leung, a respirologist at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, is an observational study based on data emerging from China and was peer reviewed. In China, where the mortality rate is higher for men than women, about half of males smoke, according to the World Health Organization. That compares with some 2% for females.
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