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Is it genes or something else?

(18 Posts)
CathyandHeathcliff Mon 06-Apr-20 20:31:49

Why are some people getting over this fairly easily, even if they’re older and with pre existing health conditions and some are ending up in a bad way/dying? I know it’s more complicated than this, but there was almost a whole family in the US that I think basically died one after the other...I’m just wondering if DNA and genes play a part here.

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bluebluezoo Mon 06-Apr-20 20:35:16

Lifestyle is probably as much a part as genetics. Early indications are obesity and smoking are indicators of a poor outcome, families tend to have similar eating and exercise patterns, and if one family member smokes, all will be exposed to some level.

bobstersmum Mon 06-Apr-20 20:38:07

I read something that said blood group A are more likely to be poorly with it. I'm type A.

CathyandHeathcliff Mon 06-Apr-20 20:39:52

I’m blood type A too, I had what I thought was it a couple of weeks ago, wasn’t confirmed or hospitalised though. I guess I’ll never know.

I just wondered if there was something about genes and immune systems etc.

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tootyfruitypickle Mon 06-Apr-20 20:43:58

I’d take the blood type stuff with a pinch of salt. A lot of it is luck. Some elderly people pull through. Some young people die. It’s the same as with any serious illness. Different odds for different people but they don’t define the outcome.

CathyandHeathcliff Mon 06-Apr-20 20:46:28

I just looked up about blood types, it says A is more likely to catch it. Not necessarily get more unwell.

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BrooHaHa Mon 06-Apr-20 20:49:35


I'm sure lifestyle might weigh into it, usually it does, but it's largely luck (and I'm including whatever genetic variants/pre-existing conditions an individual might have in with that).

NoLongerAnEasyTarget Mon 06-Apr-20 20:50:09

There are also similar but different strains. Some will have more effect than others. That in addition to people having different levels of fitness and known and unknown health conditions etc, makes it all very variable.

cologne4711 Mon 06-Apr-20 20:52:20

So many factors. A good immune system (though that can work against you if it goes into overdrive). Not being exposed to large doses of it. No underlying conditions. Getting help soon enough and not hanging around at home not wanting to bother the NHS/trusting God/Allah to make your better - whatever. Genetics can play a part eg the people who didn't get HIV (or got HIV but it couldn't do anything because of the make-up of their cells). Being female gives you better odds. Being younger gives you better odds. Not smoking. Not living somewhere that is really polluted.

MyOtherProfile Mon 06-Apr-20 20:53:15

Was just talking to scientist DH about this and asking the same question. It seems that some people are able to make the antibodies quite easily and some aren't. Obviously the ones who don't will suffer more. It doesn't always seem that this is linked to health or lifestyle so perhaps it is genetic. Clearly in other ways lifestyle does have an impact, like smokers will not have lungs that can cope with the breathing issues as well as non smokers.

Delatron Mon 06-Apr-20 20:54:10

I’m wondering about viral load. So if you pick it up from someone who is seriously ill with it, you get more ill

If you pick it up from a surface where it’s been degrading for a while it’s milder? Then you pass on a more mild case too?

CathyandHeathcliff Mon 06-Apr-20 20:57:01

It’s all so confusing.

I do know in my family no one died during the Spanish flu. On either side. So I thought that was interesting.

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Napqueen1234 Mon 06-Apr-20 21:00:34

@Delatron that’s been proven to be true and why healthcare workers are at higher risk eg ITU nurses. Because when they are exposed it’s to a high viral load so more likely to become very unwell.

There is some evidence of it being linked to low vitamin D levels which are more common in certain ethnicities and also to some genetic traits so it may be that some people either individually or ethnicities are more prone to becoming seriously unwell (it seems everyone is equally likely to CATCH it just depends how our bodies manage it).

Often risk factors eg obesity, diabetes, hypertension etc can be genetic and therefore relatives may be more at risk for those reasons.

It will be interesting once all this is over to look back at the demographics or as the information emerges in terms of risk.

Delatron Mon 06-Apr-20 21:01:55

@Napqueen1234 thanks for all that info, so interesting. I’d read about the low Vitamin D link too.

PicsInRed Mon 06-Apr-20 21:05:57

Obesity, drinking, smoking, vaping, vitamin D deficiency. All movable risk factors to reduce.

user1353245678533567 Mon 06-Apr-20 21:12:06

Luck. We have a lot less control over what happens to us and a lot less power to protect ourselves than we like to believe.

Napqueen1234 Mon 06-Apr-20 21:18:57

@user it would naive to think it’s completely random and due to luck. Obviously some v healthy people have been ‘unlucky’ but there are clear patterns

MyView2 Mon 06-Apr-20 21:29:00

Interesting to read about the blood group theory. I remember from biology at High School that people who are Blood Group A generally have weaker immune systems so I don’t think it’s anything specific to the Coronavirus. Having said that I am group A and fortunately very rarely pick up anything like colds and coughs (touch wood.)

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