University of Maryland Medical Center

Researchers Link New Risk Factors to Increased Risk of COVID-19 Infection

Maintaining Healthy Weight and High Levels of HDL "Good" Cholesterol Are Key

Newswise — As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, researchers have found associations between certain lifestyle factors and a person’s risk of getting infected. While it has already been established that those with Type II diabetes and a high body mass index (BMI) are at greater risk of experiencing hospitalizations and other severe complications related to COVID-19, they are also at greater risk of getting symptomatic infection in the first place. That is the finding of a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine that was published today in the journal PLoS ONE.

Using data from the UK Biobank of 500,000 British volunteers over age 40, the researchers examined health factors in those who tested positive for COVID-19 and compared them to those who tested negative.  They found that those who had positive COVID-19 test results were more likely to be obese or have Type II diabetes. Those who tested negative were more likely to have high levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and be at a healthy weight with a normal body mass index (BMI). 

“Certain baseline cardiometabolic factors appear to either protect a person from COVID-19 infection while others make a person more vulnerable to infection,” said study author Charles Hong, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and director of cardiology research at the University of Medicine School of Medicine. “But this study wasn’t designed to determine what factors actually cause COVID-19 infections. These are statistical associations that point to the importance of a healthy functioning immune system for protecting against COVID-19 infection.”

He and his colleagues controlled for potential confounding factors like socioeconomic status, age, gender and ethnicity.

“Our findings point to some healthy measures people can take to help potentially lower their risk of COVID-19 infection,” Dr. Hong said. “Controlling body weight is very important during this time, and measures to increase HDL levels like regular exercise and a diet rich in monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil and avocados might be helpful too.”

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 45 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1.2 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically based care for nearly 2 million patients each year. The School of Medicine has more than $563 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 student trainees, residents, and fellows. The combined School of Medicine and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact more than $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School of Medicine works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit medschool.umaryland.edu

 

 

SEE ORIGINAL STUDY




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5625
Released: 12-May-2021 5:10 PM EDT
Understanding SARS-COV-2 proteins is key to improve therapeutic options for COVID-19
Bentham Science Publishers

COVID-19 has had a significant impact since the pandemic was declared by WHO in 2020, with over 3 million deaths and counting, Researchers and medical teams have been hard at work at developing strategies to control the spread of the infection, caused by SARS-COV-2 virus and treat affected patients.

Newswise: 264700_web.jpg
Released: 12-May-2021 4:55 PM EDT
COVID-19 vaccine does not damage the placenta in pregnancy
Northwestern University

A new Northwestern Medicine study of placentas from patients who received the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy found no evidence of injury, adding to the growing literature that COVID-19 vaccines are safe in pregnancy.

Released: 12-May-2021 3:45 PM EDT
Parks not only safe, but essential during the pandemic
Drexel University

Parks played an important role for people seeking respite from the toll of social isolation during the pandemic, and according to new research from Drexel University, they did so without increasing the spread of COVID-19.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 18-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 12-May-2021 3:35 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 18-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Newswise: Pandemic Has 'Severely Weakened Surgical Innovation Pipeline'
Released: 12-May-2021 3:15 PM EDT
Pandemic Has 'Severely Weakened Surgical Innovation Pipeline'
Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School

In a new study for the journal Surgical Innovation, Associate Professor Toby Gordon of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School addresses the ways in which COVID-19 has slowed medical innovation.

Released: 12-May-2021 2:55 PM EDT
Mental health helplines need human-centered solutions
Cornell University

In India today, dozens of phone numbers are available for people who are having a severe mental health emergency. Oftentimes, however, callers experience difficulty in getting connected with someone who will listen to them; sometimes the phone will just ring and ring.

Newswise: Weizmann Institute Scientists Reveal the Triple Threat of Coronavirus
Released: 12-May-2021 2:40 PM EDT
Weizmann Institute Scientists Reveal the Triple Threat of Coronavirus
Weizmann Institute of Science

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute and the Israel Institute for Biological, Chemical and Environmental Sciences took a novel tack to investigating SARS-CoV-2’s powerful ability to infect, finding that the virus deploys an apparently unique three-pronged strategy to take over the cell’s protein-synthesis abilities. The work could help develop effective Covid-19 treatments.

Newswise: Rush Collaborates With Malcolm X College to Train COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassadors
Released: 12-May-2021 2:20 PM EDT
Rush Collaborates With Malcolm X College to Train COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassadors
Rush University Medical Center

Rush staff members collaborated with Malcom X College to provide content including video scenarios and conversation advice, for a new Vaccine Ambassador Course offered to the public.

Newswise: Using Ultrasound Stimulation to Reduce Inflammation in COVID-19 In-Patients
Released: 12-May-2021 1:35 PM EDT
Using Ultrasound Stimulation to Reduce Inflammation in COVID-19 In-Patients
University of California San Diego Health

Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine have begun a pilot clinical trial to test the efficacy of using ultrasound to stimulate the spleen and reduce COVID-19-related inflammation, decreasing the length of hospital stays.

Released: 12-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
Rapid COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Delivers Results Within 4 Minutes With 90 Percent Accuracy
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

A low-cost, rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19 developed by Penn Medicine provides COVID-19 results within four minutes with 90 percent accuracy. A paper published this week in Matter details the fast and inexpensive diagnostic test, called RAPID 1.0. Compared to existing methods for COVID-19 detection, RAPID is inexpensive and highly scalable, allowing the production of millions of units per week.


Showing results

110 of 5625

close
1.17051