COVID-19 and platelet traits: A bidirectional Mendelian randomization study

Ching Lung Cheung, Shun Cheong Ho, Suhas Krishnamoorthy, Gloria H.Y. Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to evaluate the host genetic liability of coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) with platelet traits using the Mendelian randomization (MR) approach. We conducted a bidirectional two-sample MR using summary statistics from the largest genome-wide association study of three variables, covid-19 severity (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2] infection, covid-19 hospitalization, and severe covid-19, N = ~1 059 456–1 557 411) and four platelet traits (mean platelet volume [MPV], plateletcrit, platelet distribution width, and platelet count; N = 408 112). Inverse-variance weighted (IVW), median weighted, MR-Egger, and contamination mixture methods were used to estimate the causal association. Null and inconsistent associations in the IVW and sensitivity analyses were observed for SARS-CoV-2 infection and covid-19 hospitalization with platelet traits. For severe covid-19, significant associations with MPV and platelet count were observed in the IVW and sensitivity analyses, with the betaIVW of 0.01 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.005–0.016, p = 3.51 × 10−4) and −0.009 (95% CI: −0.015 to −0.002, p = 0.008) per doubling in odds of severe covid-19, respectively. Conversely, null associations were observed for platelet traits with covid-19 traits. In conclusion, host genetic liability to severe covid-19 was causally associated with increased MPV and reduced platelet count, which may provide insights into evaluating hypercoagulability and thromboembolic events in covid-19 patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4735-4743
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • blood
  • epidemiology
  • genetic variation
  • genetics
  • SARS coronavirus
  • virus classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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