Integrating Social, Genetic, and Environmental Factors into COVID-19 Research

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Social factors, such as low socioeconomic status and crowded housing, and genetic factors, such as gene variants related to inflammatory pathways, likely impact health outcomes related to COVID-19. In an article published in Advanced Geneticsthe researchers propose a framework for considering the interactions between these different factors – similar to those between genes and the environment – ​​for COVID-19 studies.

The work is important because people’s genetics work together with social and environmental factors to determine their health risks. Focusing on the situation in the United States, investigators provide information on the independent and joint impacts of social determinants of health and genetic risk factors on individuals’ vulnerability and susceptibility to COVID-19 to guide research , health care and policy related to COVID-19[FEMININETheynotethatwhenassessingtheassociationofgeneticfactorswithaconditionsuchasCOVID-19toavoidbiasesonemustconsidertheimpactofsocialdeterminantsofhealthastheyoftenfallalongdisadvantagedethnicandraciallines[FEMININEIlsnotentquelorsdel’évaluationdel’associationdesfacteursgénétiquesavecuneconditiontellequeCOVID-19pouréviterlespréjugésilfauttenircomptedel’impactdesdéterminantssociauxdelasantécarilstombentsouventlelongdelignesethniquesetracialesdéfavorisées

“The interactions of social determinants of health and environmental exposures are complex and exist from the micro (biological) level to the macro (social system) level,” said lead author Asiyah Yu Lin, MD, Ph.D., researcher DATA from the National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH. “In our framework, we have treated traditional environmental factors as part of the social determinants of health, so that researchers can systematically collect, evaluate, and develop methods to study these factors and genomics. Additionally, more funding, education and research is needed to collect research-ready social determinants data, not only for COVID-19, but for other diseases as well.


Evidence of social factors impacting COVID-19 infection available to policy makers early in the pandemic


More information:
Jimmy Phuong et al, Social determinants of health factors for COVID‐19 gene-environment research: challenges and opportunities, Advanced genetics (2022). DOI: 10.1002/ggn2.202100056

Quote: Integrating Social, Genetic and Environmental Factors in COVID-19 Research (2022, March 9) Retrieved March 9, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-03-social-genetic-environmental-factors -covid-. html

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