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Genes boost peril from flu among 25 per cent of ethnic Chinese: study

Published on Jan 30, 2013 12:01 AM

PARIS (AFP) - Nearly a quarter of ethnic Chinese have a tiny genetic variant that boosts sixfold their risk of falling gravely ill when infected with flu, a study published on Tuesday said.

Researchers in China and Britain looked at Chinese hospital data from the 2009-2010 pandemic of H1N1 influenza.

Patients who had the minute variant were six times likelier to be treated for severe infection compared with patients who had a different genetic type, they found.

The variation focuses on just a single change in the code of a key gene in the immune system.

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