Friday, July 3, 2020

Hispanic populations more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to genetics

It is widely known that genetics plays a role in how the SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus) affects the body. There have been studies that have shown that the virus affects people of different genders, differently. The virus also seems to exhibit different behavior based on blood type, age, and other factors. It is also seen that conditions like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure increases the risk of COVID-19 death.

Analysis from a doctor in Fresno, California, says that genetics could be why the coronavirus is affecting the hispanic population more than other ethnicities. Her analysis is part of a nationwide study that aims at finding the link between genetics and how the coronavirus is killing different populations in a disproportionate manner.

Read Also: COVID-19 can cause brain complications too, physicians say

Dr. Marina Roytman of UCSF Fresno says one possible explanation as to why 66% of the first 67 Fresno victims are Hispanic lies in the liver, ABC30 reports. She says, “The liver is one of the organs of the immune system. It may not be very well known, but the liver is very much responsible for keeping us healthy and keeping the germs under control.”

Before understanding why the Hispanic population is more susceptible to the disease, we need to see how COVID-19 affects the liver. Generally, the liver is not really affected by the disease. However, there are serious problems that can be caused when one already has some sort of liver condition, and then tests positive COVID-19.

According to Dr. Roytman, previous research has shown that people of Hispanic origin, especially in Central Valley, have something called genetic polymorphism. This means that the genes of Hispanic people show that Hispanics are more susceptible to developing fatty liver disease.

This tendency could be at least one of the reasons why Hispanics are more susceptible to dying due to COVID-19. Though the study still has to undergo peer review and scrutiny, it helps shed more light on how COVID-19 affects people of different ethnicities. Research like this will help find how the disease affects different people, allowing us to come up with the best ways to fight the pandemic. If there is one thing we learned about the novel coronavirus, is no one solution to ending this pandemic.

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