medRxiv [Preprint]. 2024 May 18:2024.05.17.24307553. doi: 10.1101/2024.05.17.24307553.


SARS-CoV-2 infection can result in long COVID, characterized by post-acute symptoms from multiple organ systems. Current hypotheses on mechanisms underlying long COVID include persistent inflammation and dysregulated coagulation; however, precise mechanisms and causal mediators remain unclear. Here, we tested the associations of genetic instruments for 49 complement and coagulation factors from the UK Biobank ( N =34,557) with long COVID in the Long COVID Host Genetics Initiative ( N =997,600). Primary analyses revealed that genetically predicted higher factor XI increased long COVID risk (odds ratio, 1.17 [95% confidence interval, 1.08-1.27] per standard deviation; P =1.7×10 -4 ). This association was robust to sensitivity analyses using pleiotropy-robust methods and different genetic instruments and was replicated using proteogenomic data from an Icelandic cohort. Genetically predicted factor XI was also associated with venous thromboembolism, but not with acute COVID-19 or long COVID-resembling conditions. Collectively, these findings provide genetic evidence implicating factor XI in the biology of long COVID.

PMID:38798608 | PMC:PMC11118620 | DOI:10.1101/2024.05.17.24307553