THURSDAY, April 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Clinical conditions that have associations with the same genetic variants associated with COVID-19 severity have been identified, according to a study published online April 28 in PLOS Genetics.

Anurag Verma, Ph.D., from the Corporal Michael Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a phenome-wide association study (PheWAS) of genetic variants associated with critical illness or hospitalization due to severe COVID-19 (35 and 42 patients, respectively). The PheWAS analysis was performed using data from the Veterans Affairs Million Veterans Program. Variants associated with severe COVID-19 were tested for association across 1,559 phenotypes among 658,582 veterans.

The researchers found the largest number of phenotypes for variants at the ABO locus (rs495828, rs505922), and they had the strongest association with venous embolism (odds ratiors495828, 1.33) and thrombosis (odds ratiors505922, 1.33). Eleven of 67 respiratory conditions tested had significant associations, including MUC5B locus with an increased risk for idiopathic fibrosing alveolitis (odds ratio, 2.83) and CRHR1 with a reduced risk for pulmonary fibrosis (odds ratio, 0.84). There was an association for the TYK2 locus with a reduced risk for autoimmune conditions including psoriasis and lupus. Differences in genotype-phenotype associations were seen for PheWAS stratified by ancestry, with veterans of African and Hispanic, but not European, ancestry having an association for LMNA with neutropenia (odds ratio, 1.29).

“One thing that stood out to us was the high number of immune-mediated conditions that shared genetic architecture with severe manifestations of COVID-19,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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