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Title: COPD as a COVID-19 risk group: is genetic background the reason?
Author: Marçalo, R.
Neto, S.
Pinheiro, M.
Rodrigues, A. J.
Sousa, N.
Santos, M. A. S.
Simão, P.
Valente, C.
Andrade, L.
Marques, A.
Moura, G. R.
Keywords: COPD
Issue Date: 2021
Abstract: People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) constitute one of COVID-19 risk groups for poor prognosis upon infection. Variability in predisposition and clinical response to COVID-19 exist but our understanding of these factors in the COPD population is limited. This study explored the genetic background as a possible answer to COVID-19 infection response heterogeneity, either for the poor prognosis in people with COPD or across healthy worldwide populations. Significant SNPs (susceptibility: rs286914 and rs12329760; severity: rs657152 and rs11385942) were selected from the literature and their allelic frequencies used to calculate the probability of having multiple risk alleles in both our COPD cohort and each worldwide population. A polygenic risk analysis was conducted in the COPD cohort for the two mentioned phenotypes, but also for hospitalization and survival to COVID-19 infection. No differences in genetic risk for COVID-19 susceptibility, hospitalization, severity or survival were found between people with COPD and the control group (all p-values > 0.01), either considering risk alleles individually, allelic combinations or polygenic risk scores. Alternatively, all populations, even those with European ancestry (Portuguese, Spanish and Italian), showed significant differences from the European population in genetic risk for COVID-19 susceptibility and severity (all p-values < 0.0001). Our results indicated a low genetic contribution for COVID-19 infection predisposition or worse outcomes in people with COPD. Also, our study unveiled a high genetic heterogeneity across major world populations for the same alleles, even within European subpopulations.
Peer review: no
Appears in Collections:ESSUA - Comunicações
DCM - Comunicações
IBIMED - Comunicações
Lab3R - Comunicações

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