1 in 3 young adults vulnerable to severe COVID-19 cases, especially smokers – New York Post

One in three young adults is vulnerable to severe cases of coronavirus — with smoking playing a big role, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that 32 percent of people aged between 18 and 25 who took part in the study were “medically vulnerable” to the deadly pandemic — but that the figure dropped to 16 percent when smokers of cigarettes and e-cigarettes were removed from the sample, CNN reported Monday.

“Recent evidence indicates that smoking is associated with a higher likelihood of COVID-19 progression, including increased illness severity, ICU admission, or death,” said researcher Sally Adams, the study’s lead author. “Smoking may have significant effects in young adults, who typically have low rates of most chronic diseases.”

More than 8,000 young adults took part in the National Interview Survey for the study, which sought to assess their vulnerability to the virus.

One in 10 of the participants had smoked cigarettes within 30 days, and one in 14 had smoked e-cigarettes during that time, the outlet said.

Although more women in the study reported suffering from asthma or immune conditions, the higher rate of men who smoked showed that they were more vulnerable to the bug — although women were more at risk among nonsmokers, the study said.

One surprising finding in the study was that white people had the highest vulnerability — contradicting research that racial and ethnic minorities had a higher death rate from the coronavirus than other groups.

“Our finding of lower medical vulnerability of racial/ethnic minorities compared with the white subgroup, despite controlling for income and insurance status, was unexpected,” the study said.

“It is also inconsistent with research showing higher rates of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality and other chronic illnesses among racial/ethnic minorities, specific to one age group.

“This suggests that factors other than the CDC’s medical vulnerability criteria play a role in the risk of severe COVID-19 illness in the young adult population.”

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