Long-term residents are less likely to become infected with the coronavirus

Scientists from Harvard Medical School, Edinburgh University, Gero Biotechnology Company, and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology came to this conclusion. This trend is observed both in mutation carriers associated with long life and in their descendants. Specialists also found that the faster the human body ages, the higher the risk of death from coronavirus. The study was published on the MedRxiv portal.

Previous works have shown that older people are more susceptible to coronavirus. However, some of them are more fortunate: scientists from the U.S. and Russia have conducted a study and concluded that people who are carriers of "longevity genes" are better protected against infection.

Peter Fedichev, the founder of Gero, said that long-livers and their children become ill with various chronic diseases in older age than the general population. This allows us to think, says the scientist, that the same genes can protect them from dangerous infectious diseases in adulthood.

In the course of their research, specialists analyzed data taken from the UK biobank. They reviewed 1221 positive and 458,029 negative cases of infection. The experts concluded that carriers of genetic mutations associated with longevity are less likely to develop COVID-19. And if the disease occurs, patients are much less likely to have a heavier course of infection.

Scientists have also found that the severity of the disease depends on the biological age of the person (the degree of body condition, not passport data). In their calculations, they took into account different aging biomarkers and leading genetic risk factors associated with the onset of earlier death: predisposition to Alzheimer's disease, the presence of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and smoking. 

It turned out that accelerated aging and the presence of these factors not only increase the probability of chronic diseases but also COVID-19, reports Peter Fedichev.

The study of genetic risk factors will encourage specialists to create new drugs, the authors believe. In addition, they say, these results suggest that the existing drugs that slow the aging process may serve as a potential means of prevention and may even treat coronavirus and other infections.

The scientists intend to further explore the relationship between age, longevity, and COVID-19 morbidity and other infections.

Photo: covidcorona2020.blogspot.com

Aug. 31, 2020, 10:33 a.m.

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