Gene determines the risk of developing severe COVID-19

January 18, 2022
Gene determines the risk of developing severe COVID-19

A new gene may be responsible for people becoming severely ill with COVID-19, say Polish scientists from the Medical University of Bialystok. The gene was the fourth most important factor determining how seriously a person suffers from COVID-19, after age, weight, and gender.

The gene is present in around 14% of the Polish population, compared to 8-9% in Europe as a whole and 27% in India, said Marcin Moniuszko, the professor in charge of the research.

The scientists are hopeful this discovery would help medical professionals identify people who are most at risk as well as encourage vaccinations and access to more intensive treatment options in case(s) of an infection.

Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said: “After more than a year and a half of work it was possible to identify a gene responsible for a predisposition to becoming seriously ill (with coronavirus). This means that in the future we will be able to […] identify people with a predisposition to suffer seriously from COVID-19.”

Genetic factors play an increasingly important role in how seriously COVID-19 develops – last November, British scientists said they had identified a version of a gene that may be associated with double the risk of lung failure from COVID-19.

Read: COVID-19 virus can trigger persistent, self-damaging immune response

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Category: Features, Health alert

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