Identification of healthy people at high risk for severe COVID-19 is a global health priority. Scientists at Nightingale Health investigated whether blood biomarkers measured by high-throughput metabolomics could be predictive of severe pneumonia and COVID-19 hospitalization years after the blood sampling.
The researchers analyzed over 100,000 blood samples from the UK Biobank and identified a particular molecular signature in the blood that’s common among people who get severe symptoms if infected by the coronavirus. Those with this molecular signature are five to 10 times more likely to be hospitalized. These findings are novel, as the blood biomarkers in the molecular signature have not been previously known as risk markers in healthy people for developing severe forms of COVID-19.
This is the world’s largest metabolomic study to date and based on the study’s findings Nightingale Health is soon launching a blood test that can predict if a person will develop mild symptoms or become severely ill due to COVID-19. The test can, therefore, be used to identify people who’ll need special precautions to avoid infection and prioritize those in most need of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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