Gene common in Finns increases risk of severe covid disease

The apolipoprotein gene APOE4, which is carried by almost one in three Finns, can more than double the risk of severe illness after infection with coronavirus. This is evidenced by the results of a joint study of the University of Helsinki and the University Hospital of Helsinki, published on Monday.

“The APOE4 gene for the Finnish population appears to increase the risk of becoming seriously ill after contracting [coronavirus],” said University Hospital doctor Liisa Myllykangas. According to her, among the Finns, the significance of this gene has increased, which “may be a consequence of the genetic homogeneity of the population.” The APOE4 gene was previously known primarily due to the fact that it is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the study, the gene more than doubles the risk of severe covid leaks and admission to the intensive care unit. “In addition, the study observed that carriers of APOE4 had more microscopic cerebral hemorrhages due to severe coronavirus infection than those who are not carriers of this gene,” the authors of the experiment noted.

In addition, those with APOE4 in their bodies, the researchers said, are more likely to experience fatigue and concentration problems as the long-term effects of covid.