Scientists Discover Gene That Doubles Risk Of Severe COVID Infection

By Bill Galluccio

January 13, 2022

Female scientist examining DNA sequence results on digital tablet in laboratory
Photo: Getty Images

A team of scientists from the Medical University of Bialystok in Poland announced they have discovered a gene that doubles the risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19.

They determined that the gene was the fourth most important factor in determining the severity of a COVID infection. The other factors are age, weight, and gender.

The scientists hope the discovery will allow health officials to identify those who have a higher risk of severe complications.

"After more than a year and a half of work, it was possible to identify a gene responsible for a predisposition to becoming seriously ill (with coronavirus)," said Health Minister Adam Niedzielski. "This means that in the future, we will be able to... identify people with a predisposition to suffer seriously from COVID."

The new discovery isn't the first time scientists have identified a gene that impacts the severity of COVID-19. Last year, scientists in the United Kingdom found a gene that doubled the risk of lung failure and doubled the risk of death for people over the age of 60.

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