They say that 60% of people of South Asian descent and 15% of people of European descent carry the high risk version of the gene. Vaccines are key and help significantly reduce these risks, researchers say.
Nature Genetics’ study sheds light on why some communities in the UK and South Asia are at increased risk from Covid but does not fully explain it. Building on previous genetic work, the researchers used a combination of artificial intelligence and new molecular technology to identify the exact gene called LZTFL1 that is responsible for the increased risks.
They estimate that the risk version of the gene is present in approximately 2% of people of African-Caribbean descent and in 1.8% of people of East Asian descent.
Lead researcher Professor James Davies said the discovery that the risk gene does not affect all populations equally is very important. However, he said that a complex combination of factors, including age in particular, contribute to each individual’s individual risk.