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Are you more likely to get chest infections if you’ve got no tonsils? © Getty Images

Are you more likely to get chest infections if you’ve got no tonsils?

Published: 19th February, 2022 at 06:00
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Your tonsils are part of your body's immune system.

In 2018, a large study hit the press that looked at over one million Danish children and found that there was a link between removal of the tonsils in childhood and contracting upper respiratory tract infections as an adult.

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This is a tricky one, because association does not mean causation. In other words, did those children have an underlying issue with their immunity that meant they might have got more infections later anyway?

In any case, we shouldn’t be operating unless we really need to, but that’s always been the case – there are clear guidelines outlining when severity is bad enough to warrant surgery, and the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks.

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Asked by: Sally Dawes, Chester

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Authors

Dr Nish Manek is a GP in London. She completed her medical degree at Imperial College and was runner-up in the University of London Gold Medal. Manek has also developed teaching courses for Oxford Medical School, and has penned articles for The Guardian and Pulse magazine.

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