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Health Fusion: Vapers are more likely to get COVID symptoms, Mayo Clinic study shows

If you vape and test positive for COVID, you're more likely to get symptoms than people who don't light up. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams talks to a Mayo Clinic expert who studied COVID's impact on people who use e-cigarettes.

People who vape get COVID-19 symptoms more frequently, Mayo Clinic study
Vapers have higher frequency of COVID symptoms than people who don't vape, Mayo Clinic study
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ROCHESTER — If you use e-cigarettes and test positive for COVID-19, you're more likely to develop symptoms than people who don't vape. Mayo Clinic researchers studied the frequency of common COVID symptoms experienced by vapors and compared them to those of people who didn't vape.

"We were able to determine that the frequency of symptoms was more common in those who vaped," says Dr. David McFadden, an internist and the study's first author.

McFadden and his team looked at a variety of symptoms, including headaches, muscle aches and pain, chest pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of the sense of smell or taste.

"We also found that among people who both vaped and smoked, there was a trend for increased shortness of breath and trips to the emergency room," McFadden said.

For the study, the researchers interviewed more than 280 COVID-positive vapers and compared them with 1,445 COVID-positive people of the same age and gender who don't vape. All participants received positive COVID tests in March and February of 2020.

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What is it about vaping that makes you more likely to get symptoms? This study does not address that issue, but McFadden says that it may have to do with inflammation.

"Vaping, smoking, and COVID affect the lung tissue," McFadden said. "It appears to be an inflammatory response, not only in the lung, but also in other parts of the body."

McFadden says the bottom line is that COVID-positive people in the study who were identified as vapers were definitely more symptomatic.

Follow the Health Fusion podcast on Apple , Spotify , and Google Podcasts.

For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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