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Causal relationship between physical activity, leisure sedentary behaviors and COVID-19 risk: a Mendelian randomization study
Chen et al., Journal of Translational Medicine, doi:10.1186/s12967-022-03407-6
Chen et al., Causal relationship between physical activity, leisure sedentary behaviors and COVID-19 risk: a Mendelian.., Journal of Translational Medicine, doi:10.1186/s12967-022-03407-6
May 2022   Source   PDF  
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UK Biobank Mendelian randomization study showing decreased risk of COVID-19 hospitalization with genetically predicted accelerometer-assessed physical activity, and increased risk with television watching.
Chen et al., 13 May 2022, United Kingdom, peer-reviewed, 7 authors.
Contact: (corresponding author),,
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Abstract: Chen et al. Journal of Translational Medicine (2022) 20:216 Journal of Translational Medicine Open Access RESEARCH Causal relationship between physical activity, leisure sedentary behaviors and COVID‑19 risk: a Mendelian randomization study Xiong Chen1,2†, Xiaosi Hong3†, Wenjing Gao4, Shulu Luo5, Jiahao Cai6*, Guochang Liu1,2* and Yinong Huang7* Abstract Background: The 2019 coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19) poses an enormous threat to public health worldwide, and the ensuing management of social isolation has greatly decreased opportunities for physical activity (PA) and increased opportunities for leisure sedentary behaviors (LSB). Given that both PA and LSB have been established as major influencing factors for obesity, diabetes and cardiometabolic syndrome, whether PA/LSB in turn affects the susceptibility to COVID-19 by disrupting metabolic homeostasis remains to be explored. In this study, we aimed to systematically evaluate the causal relationship between PA/LSB and COVID-19 susceptibility, hospitalization and severity using a Mendelian randomization study. Methods: Data were obtained from a large-scale PA dataset (N = 377,000), LSB dataset (N = 422,218) and COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative (N = 2,586,691). The causal effects were estimated with inverse variance weighted, MR-Egger, weighted median and MR-PRESSO. Sensitivity analyses were implemented with Cochran’s Q test, MR-Egger intercept test, MR-PRESSO, leave-one-out analysis and the funnel plot. Risk factor analyses were further conducted to investigate the potential mediators. Results: Genetically predicted accelerometer-assessed PA decreased the risk for COVID-19 hospitalization (OR = 0.93, 95% CI 0.88–0.97; P = 0.002), while leisure television watching significantly increased the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization (OR = 1.55, 95% CI 1.29–1.88; P = 4.68 × ­10–6) and disease severity (OR = 1.85, 95% CI 1.33–2.56; P = 0.0002) after Bonferroni correction. No causal effects of self-reported moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), accelerometer fraction of accelerations > 425 milligravities, computer use or driving on COVID-19 progression were observed. Risk factor analyses indicated that the above causal associations might be mediated by several metabolic risk factors, † Xiong Chen and Xiaosi Hong contributed equally to this work *Correspondence:;; 1 Department of Pediatric Urology, Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China 6 Department of Neurology, Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China 7 Department of Endocrinology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun YatSen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China Full list of author information is available at the end of the article © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If..
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