Elevated levels of plasmin(ogen)—an enzyme that helps prevent blood clots—is a common risk factor for COVID-19 susceptibility, according to a new review article co-authored by Hong-Long “James” Ji, MD, PhD; Runzhen Zhao, MD; Sadis Matalon, PhD, ScD; Michael A. Matthay, MD. Among other findings, the researchers also found that “in comparison with patients with mild COVID-19 (such as those who did not require ICU stays, did not develop acute respiratory distress syndrome or pneumonia, and who survived), patients with severe COVID-19 have higher comorbidities, including 56% for hypertension, 21% for heart diseases, 18% for diabetes, 12% for cerebrovascular diseases and 7% for cancer.” 

These respiratory physiology experts are available for interviews:

Hong-Long “James” Ji, MD, PhD, is an expert in the area of fibrinolysis in normal and injured lungs. He is a professor at the University of Texas at Tyler.

Sadis Matalon, PhD, ScD, is a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham with research interests around infectious lung injury and repair and lung fluid clearance. His areas of expertise include influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and COVID-19. 

Michael A. Matthay, MD, is a professor at the University of California San Francisco who specializes in clinical trials for ARDS and pneumonia. He has particular expertise in infectious disease, respiratory function and COVID-19/coronavirus.