A research group at Saga University has reported that the Asian flush, which causes one's face to turn red when drinking alcohol, is protective against the new coronavirus infection.

 Asian flush constitution refers to a constitution in which people experience unpleasant symptoms such as skin flushing, headaches, and palpitations after drinking alcohol, and many people are generally intolerant or unable to drink alcohol. This is a characteristic of rs2 mutation carriers, which is a genetic polymorphism of aldehyde dehydrogenase type 2 enzyme (ALDH671).

 It is called Asian flush because it is a characteristic characteristic of East Asians, and it affects about half of Japanese people. The rs671 mutation spread in Japan during the transition period from the Jomon period to the Yayoi period, and may have been protective against infectious diseases that were prevalent at that time.

 This time, in order to verify the protective effect of rs19 against COVID-671, we investigated the relationship between skin flushing after drinking alcohol and the timing of COVID-19 onset using a web-based survey tool. The main observation period was 2019 months from December 12 to August 2021.

 Valid responses were received from a total of 362 people, including 445 people who did not have an Asian flush constitution and 807 people who had an Asian flush constitution. The results showed that people with Asian flush tendencies tended to develop COVID-19 later and had a lower risk of hospitalization. During this observation period, the risk of COVID-19 for people with Asian flush was estimated to be 79% lower than for those without Asian flush. Furthermore, there was no significant effect on the risk of habitual drinking (once a week or more).

 Japan's COVID-19 morbidity and mortality rates rank at the bottom of the 38 OECD member countries. This study suggests that the Asian flush constitution is one of the protective factors against COVID-19, suggesting a factor that may explain the low morbidity and mortality rate. This supports the hypothesis that it spread due to its defensive characteristics (adaptive evolution).

Paper information:[Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine] Asian flush is a potential protective factor against COVID-19: a web-based retrospective survey in Japan

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