Scientists find COVID-19 is a vascular disease

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In a recent study published in Vascular Pharmacology, researchers found that COVID-19 is more than respiratory disease.

They showed evidence indicates that COVID-19 acts as a vascular disease. The finding helps explain why people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing its severe form.

The study is from Florida Tech. One author is Amanda Almeida de Oliveira.

In the study, the team reviewed the potential impact of COVID-19 on individuals with diabetes. They identified heavy inflammation in COVID-19 patients linked to over-activation of the immune system.

The presence of inflammation led them to propose that oxidative stress would also contribute to the severity of COVID-19—since the mechanisms triggering inflammation and oxidative stress overlap—which would affect the blood vessels in one’s system.

Given previous research that pointed to the disease’s vascular connections, as well as studying the problems patients had throughout their bodies, the researchers were even more convinced COVID-19 was not only a respiratory disease.

The team also examined how diabetes and COVID-19 may interact.

They observed that in diabetes, both TLR4 and NADPH oxidase levels/activity are altered, and noted in the paper that these mechanisms, whether together or independently, might play a role in diabetes-associated severe COVID-19.

TLR4 is a protein in humans that plays a big role in regulating NF-κB, a major transcription factor that regulates genes responsible for both the innate and adaptive immune response.

There is also a link between TLR4 and NADPH oxidase, which contribute to inflammation, oxidative stress, and likely the severity of COVID-19 in diabetic patients.

While the team learned a lot in the past year, they noted there are still a lot of things researchers are trying to figure out with the disease, such as the long-term effects of COVID-19 on individuals with diabetes.

If you care about COVID-19, please read studies about common diabetes drug could strongly cut COVID-19 death risk and findings of COVID-19 and diabetes: What you need to know.

For more information about COVID-19 and your health, please see recent studies about COVID-19 infection can cause pain relieve and results showing that this depression drug may help prevent severe COVID-19.

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