Macular degeneration may increase severity of Covid-19, shows Study

Topics health | COVID-19

People with age-related macular degeneration an eye disorder caused by overactive immune system -- are at greater risk of developing severe complications and dying from COVID-19, according to a study.

Complement, one of the immune system's oldest branches may be influencing the severity of COVID-19 disease, said the researchers at Columbia University in the US.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, suggest that existing drugs that inhibit the complement system could help treat patients with severe disease.

The researchers also found evidence that clotting activity is linked to COVID-19 severity and that mutations in certain complement and coagulation genes are associated with hospitalisation of COVID patients.

"Together these results provide important insights into the pathophysiology of COVID-19 and paint a picture for the role of complement and coagulation pathways in determining clinical outcomes of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2," said Sagi Shapira, who led the study with Nicholas Tatonetti, both professors at Columbia University.

If complement and coagulation influence severity of COVID-19, people with pre-existing hyperactive complement or coagulation disorders should be more susceptible to the virus, the researchers said.

That led researchers to look at COVID-19 patients with macular degeneration, an eye disease caused by overactive complement, as well as common coagulation disorders like thrombosis and hemorrhage.

Among 11,000 patients who came to Columbia University Irving Medical Center with suspected COVID-19, the researchers found that over 25 per cent of those with age-related macular degeneration died, compared to the average mortality rate of 8.5 per cent, and roughly 20 per cent required intubation.

The greater mortality and intubation rates could not be explained by differences in the age or sex of the patients, the researchers said.

"Complement is also more active in obesity and diabetes and may help explain, at least in part, why people with those conditions also have a greater mortality risk from COVID," Shapira said.

People with a history of coagulation disorders also were at increased risk of dying from COVID 19 infection, the researchers added.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel