Increased age, diabetes, heart disease, and diet, all play a part in how COVID-19 will affect you. Researchers have tied COVID-19 severity and susceptibility to some genes associated with the immune system’s response. This includes a protein that allows the disease-causing SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus into our cells. In one study, researchers picked through the genomes of 1,610 hospitalized patients in Italy and Spain to find DNA changes that were common among people who developed COVID-19 respiratory failure. Investigators found many patients with severe disease had variants in a complex of genes on chromosome 3. Some of these genes encode proteins called chemokines that interact with immune-system molecules. Chemokines attract immune cells to tissues under attack, allowing them to destroy infected cells. But with the coronavirus, they often appear to go into overdrive and trigger assaults that destroy the lungs.
Genes May Influence COVID-19 Risk
According to the New England Journal of Medicine:
“The pathogenesis of severe Covid-19 and the associated respiratory failure is poorly understood, but higher mortality is consistently associated with older age and male sex.7,8Clinical associations have also been reported for hypertension, diabetes, and other obesity-related and cardiovascular disease traits, but the relative role of clinical risk factors in determining the severity of Covid-19 has not yet been clarified.”
My Happy Genes Keeping You Informed!
MyHappyGenes is dedicated to helping individuals achieve healthy outcomes through knowledge of DNA and Genetics. By understanding your DNA you can better understand your health outcomes.
How Genes Play a Role in Disease and Health
When slight changes occur in genes, it can cause susceptibility to many common diseases, including cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and mental illness. Genetic predisposition and the risk of disease can depend on multiple factors in addition to genetic changes.
Genetic testing can identify potential health problems and give you another tool to make informed decisions about managing your health care. Dr. J. Dunn explores how to obtain correct results and what to do with the results. She also talks about compassion for yourself and others when it comes to problems beyond our control. Her book – Genetic Compassion – will help you to understand how genes play a very important role in how we feel.