Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Genetic Aging in DNA linked with Risk of COVID

 Shorter telomeres can affect the increased likelihood of death from COVID-19 in older women. There was an observational study including over 600 adults, but no males. This is because during their study they found out that there was no significant difference in the telomere length. The study from U.S. News & World Report, included more than 600 adults hospitalized with COVID during the first wave of the pandemic, March to September 2020. Telomere length was measured in patient blood samples taken within 20 days of COVID diagnosis or hospitalization. The 533 patients who survived had an average age of 67, compared with an average age of 78 among the 75 patients who died from COVID. 

Among all patients, shorter telomeres were significantly associated with a higher risk death from COVID-19 at 30 and 90 days after hospital discharge. This is frightening since, we age from our telomeres getting shorter. The shorter the telomeres are the more risk older women have on contracting COVID-19. "Besides aging, telomere dysfunction is also associated with smoking, poor diet, higher body mass index and other factors that promote oxidative stress, chronic inflammation and cancer," Virseda-Berdices added.

Preidt, R. (2022). Genetic sign of aging linked to risk of fatal covid ... U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved April 27, 2022, from 

News, H. D. (2022, April 26). Signs of aging in DNA associated with higher COVID-19 death risk. UPI. Retrieved April 26, 2022, from 


  1. According to US News, " Shorter telomeres are associated with an increased likelihood of death from COVID-19, particularly in older women, researchers say. Telomeres are protective caps on the end of chromosomes (DNA) that shorten with age. Previous research has linked shorter telomeres with a number of age-related diseases, including cancer and osteoarthritis, and a higher risk of infections." This means that smaller and shorter telemeres are linked to having an increased chance of death from COVID-19, especially in women.

  2. I find it fascinating how this seems to be a solely female thing. The fact that telomere length can be the difference between life and death for women and not men is a truly intriguing discovery that would be great to attempt to research further.