Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Prevalence of Current Smoking and Association with Adverse Outcome in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Version 1 : Received: 5 May 2020 / Approved: 7 May 2020 / Online: 7 May 2020 (08:52:04 CEST)

How to cite: Farsalinos, K.; Poulas, K.; Polosa, R.; Barbouni, A.; Caponnetto, P.; Niaura, R. Prevalence of Current Smoking and Association with Adverse Outcome in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Preprints 2020, 2020050113 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0113.v1). Farsalinos, K.; Poulas, K.; Polosa, R.; Barbouni, A.; Caponnetto, P.; Niaura, R. Prevalence of Current Smoking and Association with Adverse Outcome in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Preprints 2020, 2020050113 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0113.v1).

Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence and effects of current smoking on adverse outcomes among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Methods: We performed a systematic review of the literature (PubMed) for studies published until April 25. Studies were included into the analysis if they satisfied all of the following criteria: 1. To present hospitalized patients with COVID-19. 2. To classify patients into less and more severe disease, irrespective of the severity definition (defined as “adverse ourtcome”). 3. To present data on the smoking status, separately for each severity classification. We identified 18 (from a total of 1398) relevant studies. Pooled current smoking prevalence was compared with the gender-adjusted, population-based expected prevalence by calculating Prevalence Odds Ratio (POR). The association between current, compared to non-current and former, smoking and adverse outcome was examined by calculating Odds Ratio (OR). All analyses were performed using random-effects meta-analysis. Results: Among 6515 patients, 440 of whom were current smokers, the pooled prevalence of current smoking was 6.8% (95%CI: 4.8-9.1%) and the POR was 0.21 (95%CI: 0.16-0.26, P < 0.001). In Chinese studies only, the POR was 0.22 (95%CI: 0.17-0.27, P < 0.001). Current smokers were more likely to have an adverse outcome compared to non-current smokers (OR: 1.53, 95%CI: 1.06-2.20, P = 0.022). However, they were less likely to have an adverse outcome compared to former smokers (OR: 0.42, 95%CI: 0.27-0.74, P = 0.003). Conclusion: An unexpectedly low prevalence of current smoking was observed among hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Hospitalized current smokers had higher odds compared to non-current smokers but lower odds compared to former smokers for an adverse outcome. The possibility that nicotine may have a protective effect in COVID-19 which may be masked by smoking-related toxicity and by the abrupt cessation of nicotine intake when smokers are hospitalized should be explored.

Subject Areas

SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; inflammation; smoking; nicotine; hospitalization; adverse outcome

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