- The researchers used a novel approach called 'Mendelian Randomisation'
- It leveraged individual genetic information to assess the risk of COVID-19
- The study has been published in the science journal Frontiers in Genetics
London: The effects of cardiovascular risk factors on the risk of COVID-19 infection have been investigated through a novel approach by researchers at Queen Mary University of London. Several observational studies have reported the link between cardiovascular risk factors and COVID-19 severity. However, these studies could not ascertain the cause and effect relationship due to the observational design. The new study, published in the science journal Frontiers in Genetics, used a novel approach called ‘Mendelian Randomisation’, which leveraged the individual genetic information, to investigate the effects of cardiovascular risk factors on the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Lead author Dr Nay Aung from the Queen Mary University of London said: “Our results show that individuals with high body mass index (BMI), a marker of obesity, and high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol) are at an increased risk of getting COVID-19. Other cardiovascular risk factors (high blood pressure and diabetes) do not appear to elevate the COVID-19 risk.
Our findings support the use of BMI and LDL cholesterol as important metrics alongside other known characteristics (such as age and ethnicity) in the risk assessment of vulnerability to COVID-19 infection, added Dr Nay Aung.
The findings may have an impact on public health policy, whereby those who fall in the at-risk obese category or those with extreme hyperlipidemia in the general population may require more rigorous social distancing or shielding.
Furthermore, studies assessing the role of cholesterol modification therapy during illness or hospital admission could be undertaken to assess the potential impact on outcomes.
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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.