38% males and 42% females in Maharashtra maybe at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 outcomes due to tobacco consumption: Indus Health Plus Report

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Pune, 29th May 2021: Tobacco consumption has been one of the major health concerns worldwide. CDC and WHO have also linked smoking to more severe illness from COVID-19. A recent abnormality report put together by Indus Health Plus, a pioneer in preventive health check-up, from April 2018 to Jan 2021, revealed that the percentage of abnormality in lung function tests in Maharashtra was about 38% in males and in 42% in females. In Pune, it was 48% in males and 53% in females.

The report suggests that the increase in abnormal percentage in the female population is due to an increasing trend of smoking or consumption of tobacco amongst women. Besides that, exposure to passive smoking has also been a significant reason. The overall sample size for the study was 29,548 people and 4124 for Pune.

Mr. Amol Naikawadi, Preventive Healthcare Specialist, Indus Health Plus says, “Smoking along with pre-existing lung ailments can exacerbate the conditions significantly. Moreover, in the current scenario of COVID 19, the situation becomes more critical as it can have an adverse outcome especially in terms of the time taken to recover from the disease. This is a time when people must do lifestyle modifications and take preventive measures very seriously for good health and wellness of themselves and their family members.

He further added that, “Consumption of tobacco in any form increases the risk of developing severe COVID-19 outcomes. In addition, it also increases the risk of diseases like COPD, Brain Stroke, Heart Attack, Asthma, Lung Cancer, Interstitial Lung Disease – a respiratory disease, and Diabetes. Younger generation consumes smoke and smokeless tobacco due to peer pressure, style statement and stress.  Strong will power, medical counselling and oral medication help to overcome smoking.”

People consuming tobacco or smoking have a higher risk of being infected with the virus through the mouth while smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products. If smokers contract the COVID-19 virus, they face a greater risk of getting a severe infection as their lung health is already compromised. Apart from that, psychological and economic effects of smoking are also very adverse. Therefore, quitting tobacco consumption in any form will reduce the risk of various ailments and will lead to wellness and a healthy lifestyle.