Causal influences of osteoarthritis on COVID-19: a Mendelian randomization study.

Publication date: Sep 04, 2023

Although observational and genetic studies have indicated a correlation between OA and COVID-19, it remains uncertain whether osteoarthritis (OA) contributes to the severity of COVID-19. Here, we aimed to investigate the potential causal links between the two. In this study, we conducted Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis to investigate whether there is a potential causal connection between OA and COVID-19 outcomes. The analysis utilized publicly available GWAS summary datasets, incorporating data on OA (N = 455,221), SARS-CoV-2 infection (N = 2,597,856), hospitalized COVID-19 (N = 2,095,324), and critical COVID-19 (N = 1,086,211). Additionally, we performed a literature analysis to establish a molecular network connecting OA and COVID-19. The MR analysis showed causal effects of OA on hospitalized COVID-19 (OR: 1. 21, 95% CI: 1. 02-1. 43, p = 0. 026) and critical COVID-19 (OR: 1. 35, 95% CI: 1. 09-1. 68, p = 0. 006) but not on SARS-CoV-2 infection as such (OR: 1. 00, 95% CI: 0. 92-1. 08, p = 0. 969). Moreover, the literature-based pathway analysis uncovered a set of specific genes, such as CALCA, ACE, SIRT1, TNF, IL6, CCL2, and others, that were found to mediate the association between OA and COVID-19. Our findings indicate that OA elevates the risk of severe COVID-19. Therefore, larger efforts should be made in the prevention of COVID-19 in OA patients.

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Concepts Keywords
Covid ACE
Genetic COVID-19
Osteoarthritis GWAS
Mendelian randomization


Type Source Name
disease MESH osteoarthritis
disease MESH COVID-19
pathway REACTOME SARS-CoV-2 Infection
disease MESH infection
disease IDO susceptibility
disease MESH chronic conditions
disease MESH hypertension
disease VO population
disease MESH musculoskeletal diseases
disease MESH synovitis
disease MESH inflammation
disease MESH cardiovascular diseases
disease MESH rheumatoid arthritis
pathway KEGG Rheumatoid arthritis
disease MESH causality
pathway KEGG Meiosis
disease MESH lifestyle
disease IDO host
disease MESH knee osteoarthritis
disease MESH hip osteoarthritis
disease VO efficiency

Original Article

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