A new study has suggested that people with diabetes and heart diseases especially those who have high cholesterol levels are more likely to develop severe coronavirus symptoms.
According to the researchers, the virus that causes COVID-19, can stick to cholesterol molecules and further infect the human cells. This means that patients with comorbidities condition such as diabetes or heart diseases are more likely to succumb after getting infected.
The study which was published in Nature Metabolism also looked at the role of the ‘good’ cholesterol during the coronavirus infection. It specifically studied the SR-B1 receptor which connects to the cholesterol molecules.
The receptor which is found throughout the human body is believed to be the prime target of the coronavirus infection. While the virus cannot directly attach itself, it can take the attack to the cholesterol connecting to the receptor in order to infiltrate the cells. In this entire process, the coronavirus comes to the cell surface and infects it.
The researchers say that targeting the SR-B1 receptor could bring potential chances for future treatments of the COVID-19.