London: The impact of cardiovascular risk factors on the risk of COVID-19 infection was investigated by researchers at Queen Mary University in London using a novel approach. Several observational studies have reported an association between cardiovascular risk factors and COVID-19 severity. However, these studies were unable to determine the relationship between cause and effect due to the observational design.
Published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Genetics, this new study examined the impact of cardiovascular risk factors on the risk of COVID-19 infection using a novel approach called’Mendelian randomization’ that utilizes individual genetic information. Lead author, Dr. Nay Aung of Queen Mary University in London, said: “Our results are a high body mass index (BMI), an indicator of obesity, and individuals with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (also known as’bad’) have a high risk of developing COVID-19 because’cholesterol’.
Other cardiovascular risk factors (high blood pressure and diabetes) do not appear to increase your risk of COVID-19. “Our findings support the use of BMI and LDL cholesterol as important indicators along with other known characteristics of risk (eg age and ethnicity). “Assessing your vulnerability to COVID-19 infection,” added Aung. These findings may affect public health policies, which may lead to more stringent social distancing or shielding for those who fall into the obesity category at risk, or those with extreme hyperlipidemia in the general population.
You can also conduct studies evaluating the role of cholesterol-modifying therapy during illness or hospitalization to assess its potential impact on outcome.