Investigating risk factors contributing to COVID-19 infections
In addition to investigating risk factors for a SARS-CoV-2 infection in low-, medium- and high-income countries, they are looking at the financial effects of the pandemic. Darryl Leong, a scientist at PHRI, leads this PURE COVID-19 sub-study.
To date, the team has collected information from 30,000 adults in 19 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Zimbabwe) on five continents. Blood samples have been obtained from 5,000 of these individuals, with blood collection continuing in hopes of gaining approximately 10,000 specimens. All of the specimens will be tested to see if the individuals were infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus without knowing it (asymptomatic).
Early results show that obesity is one of the most important risk factors for a COVID-19 infection. The team also found that the pandemic had the greatest financial impact on people in low-income countries, while people in high-income countries experienced less of a financial impact. In future analyses, the late complications of a SARS-CoV-2 infection, such as long-lasting lung problems, loss of muscle strength, heart failure or other diseases, will be the focus of a comparison between participants who experienced a COVID-19 infection and controls in the same communities. The study will continue for a further 12 months or longer depending on the course of the pandemic.