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Study Points to Increased Risk of Dangerous Blood Clots in COVID-19 Patients

An analysis of clinical and genetic risk factors associated with venous thromboembolism (VTE) in ambulatory COVID-19 patients is published in JAMA Internal Medicine this week, revealing that even mild disease substantially increases the risk of incident VTE. While VTE has been linked to severe COVID-19, the association between these blood clots and milder COVID-19 remains controversial. To investigate, a team led by University of Oxford scientists performed a retrospective cohort study of 18,818 COVID-19 outpatients and 93,179 propensity score-matched noninfected individuals. The researchers find SARS-CoV-2 infection in this patient population was associated with an increased risk of VTE in 30 days, although this risk was substantially attenuated among those who were fully vaccinated. Additional factors increasing VTE risk included older age, male sex, obesity, and factor V Leiden thrombophilia. The findings, the study's authors write, "may reinforce the need for vaccination, inform VTE risk stratification, and call for targeted VTE prophylaxis strategies for unvaccinated outpatients with COVID-19."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.