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Drinking and not exercising are modifiable risk factors for SARS-CoV-2

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A new study in the UK found that several factors that increase the risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection include increased alcohol use, Asian / Asian British ethnicity, and obesity. It suggests that it is related to. In addition, moderate but inactive exercise of 10 hours or more per week was associated with reduced susceptibility to infection.

The study “Determinants of Pre-vaccination Antibody Response to SARS-CoV-2: Population-Based Longitudinal Study (COVIDENCEUK)” was published in the preprint. medRxiv*server.

Study: Determinants of pre-vaccination antibody response to SARS-CoV-2: Population-based longitudinal study (COVIDENCEUK). Image credit: NIAID

Details of COVIDENCE UK research

An observational study of COVIDENCE UK began on May 1, 2020, and researchers measured COVID-19 infection rates in people aged 16 and over living in the United Kingdom.

Participants answered an online survey asking questions about possibilities COVID19 Symptoms Self-reporting of COVID-19 testing results (if available) and potential COVID-19 risk factors experienced after February 1, 2020. A total of 88 potential risk factors for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) were studied.

The follow-up questionnaire recorded positive COVID-19 test results and information on the symptoms of acute respiratory infections.

Another part of the study included an analysis of antibody titers from participants. Antibody testing began in November 2020 and included unvaccinated participants or participants who provided dried blood spot samples prior to the first COVID-19 vaccination date.

Of the 11,130 participants in the antibody study, 1,696 were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibody. Approximately 70% of seropositive cases were female, and 95.7% were identified as Caucasian with a median age of 62.3.

Factors Related to Increased Risk of COVID-19 Disease

A total of 28 factors correlated independently with the risk of SARS-CoV-2 seropositive.

There were four main factors-Asian people, front-line healthcare or social care workers, traveling abroad, and having a high BMI (≥25 kg / m²)-increased risk and high risk of COVID-19 infection Antibody titer of infected patients.

Other factors such as poor education, sex hormone therapy, mild physical activity, use of vitamin D supplements, and increased drinking (15 units or more per week) correlated with increased infection.

“High levels of alcohol intake are known to adversely affect the immune response through several mechanisms, supporting the finding of increased risk for participants who consume more than 15 units of alcohol per week. “The research team explained.

Regarding exercise levels, researchers have observed that participants’ exercise for more than 10 hours a week reduces their risk of COVID-19.

The combination of IgG, IgA, and IgM anti-S titers of serum-positive participants by ethnicity, front-line worker status, and severity of COVID-19 log-converted anti-spiking IgGAM ratios are in ethnic groups (A). ) Is shown for all seropositive participants (n = 1774). Frontline worker status (B), and COVID-19 severity (C). The horizontal line shows the median and IQR.  (A)

The combination of IgG, IgA, and IgM anti-S titers of serum-positive participants by ethnicity, front-line worker status, and severity of COVID-19 log-converted anti-spiking IgGAM ratios are in ethnic groups (A). ) Is shown for all seropositive participants (n = 1774). Frontline worker status (B), and COVID-19 severity (C). The horizontal line shows the median and IQR. (A) “Black” refers to blacks, Africans, Caribbeans, and blacks from the United Kingdom. “Mixed or other” refers to people of mixed, multiple, or other ethnic origins. (C) The severity of COVID-19 is “asymptomatic” (not reported symptoms of acute respiratory infections, or hospitalized with symptoms classified as less than 50% likely to be due to COVID-19 Not a participant) was classified as. “Symptomatic, not hospitalized” (non-hospitalized participants reporting symptoms of acute respiratory infections classified as having a 50% or greater chance of COVID-19); and “hospitalized” (Participants hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19). IgGAM = IgG, IgA, and IgM.

Researchers hypothesize that there may be a J-shaped relationship between exercise and risk of infection. This may explain why strenuous exercise did not enjoy the same benefits as moderate exercise. For example, moderate exercise can increase the immune response, but elicited high-intensity exercise can increase susceptibility to infections.

Both second-hand smoke and the use of prescribed paracetamol were associated with a reduced risk of COVID-19 disease.

Research limits

The research limitation is the composition of the participants. Because the cohort was self-selected, some groups were undervalued, including people under the age of 30, people with low socioeconomic status, and non-white ethnic groups.

Limitations in another study included the inclusion of asymptomatic infections titer analysis. Because it was included, it was not possible to adjust the onset timing of infection and it was difficult to know how the antibody response changed over time.

Since this was an observational study, some associations could always be explained by other variables not measured in the study. For example, researchers found that passive but inactive smoking reduced the risk of seropositive compared to those who had never smoked. However, this result should be taken with caution, as there are risks associated with smoking unless a plausible protection mechanism is established.

In future studies, who is at greatest risk of reinfection and how, including correctable risk factors for seropositive, antibody titers, and other factors related to protection from COVID-19 infection We need to better understand what precautions we can take.

*Important Notices

medRxiv Publish preliminary scientific reports that should not be considered definitive as they are not peer-reviewed, guide clinical practice / health-related behaviors, and should not be treated as established information.

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