Cardiometabolic risks of SARS-CoV-2 hospitalization using Mendelian Randomization

Noah Lorincz-Comi, Xiaofeng Zhu

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Received date: 11th December 2020

Intro: Many cardiometabolic conditions have demonstrated associative evidence with COVID-19 hospitalization risk. However, the observational designs of the studies in which these associations are observed preclude causal inferences of hospitalization risk. Mendelian Randomization (MR) is an alternative risk estimation method more robust to these limitations that allows for causal inferences. Methods & materials: We applied four MR methods (MRMix, IMRP, IVW, MREgger) to publicly available GWAS summary statistics from European (COVID-19 GWAS n=2,956) and multi-ethnic populations (COVID-19 GWAS n=10,808) to better understand extant causal associations between Type II Diabetes (GWAS n=659,316), BMI (n=681,275), diastolic and systolic blood pressure, and pulse pressure (n=757,601 for each) and COVID-19 hospitalization risk across populations. Results: Although no significant causal effect evidence was observed, our data suggested a trend of increasing hospitalization risk for Type II diabetes (IMRP OR, 95% CI: 1.67, 0.96-2.92) and pulse pressure (OR, 95% CI: 1.27, 0.97-1.66) in the multi-ethnic sample. Conclusions: Type II diabetes and Pulse pressure demonstrates a potential causal association with COVID-19 hospitalization risk, the proper treatment of which may work to reduce the risk of a severe COVID-19 illness requiring hospitalization. However, GWAS of COVID-19 with large sample size is warranted to confirm the causality.  

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on a preprint server, which is currently undergoing peer review at Scientific Reports. The findings have yet to be thoroughly evaluated, nor has a decision on ultimate publication been made. Therefore, the results reported should not be considered conclusive, and these findings should not be used to inform clinical practice, or public health policy, or be promoted as verified information.

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