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Smoking, COPD & Influenza: The Deadly Trio

Don’t be caught unaware or it might be a little too late

Smoking is bad but many people (perhaps even yourself or a loved one) find it difficult to quit. This guilty pleasure is a risky habit as it causes about 90% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a debilitating lung condition.[1]

The flu is dangerous if you have COPD
People with COPD often suffer from a persistent cough with lots of mucous, shortness of breath, and also chest tightness due to their weakened lungs and immune system.[1] ,[2] This makes it much easier for you to catch influenza which in turn aggravates your COPD symptoms. Not only that, this also means you are more likely to experience serious complications that can lead to hospitalisation or even death.[3]

Protect your health with influenza vaccination
The best way to safeguard your health would be to quit smoking. But while you are trying, consider getting the influenza vaccination. Research has shown that influenza vaccine works effectively in patients with COPD and can reduce your risk of falling seriously ill and being hospitalised.[4]

If your health has been getting in your way, then it’s time to trade bad habits for good ones. Know that you can have the quality of life you desire by making the right decisions.


References:
[1] Healthline. 2017. The Smoking and COPD Connection. https://www.healthline.com/health/copd/smoking#1 [Accessed Dec 19, 2017]
[2] Bhat et al. 2015. Immune Dysfunction in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Annals of the American Thoracic Society 12(2):S169-175.
[3] New York State Department of Health. N.d. You, Smoking, and the Flu. https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2461.pdf [Accessed Dec 19, 2017]
[4] Menon et al. 2008. Comparison of outpatient visits and hospitalisations, in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, before and after influenza vaccination. Int J Clin Pract. 62(4):593-598.

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