Background: COVID-19 has highly variable clinical courses. The search for prognostic host factors for COVID-19 outcome is a priority.

Methods: We performed logistic regression for ICU admission against a polygenic score (PGS) for Cystatin C (CyC) production in patients with COVID-19. We analyzed the predictive value of longitudinal plasma CyC levels in an independent cohort of patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

Findings: In four cohorts spanning European and African ancestry populations, we identified a significant association between CyC-production PGS and odds of critical illness (n cases=2,319), with the strongest association captured in the UKB cohort (OR 2.13, 95% CI 1.58-2.87, p=7.12e-7). Plasma proteomics from an independent cohort of hospitalized COVID-19 patients (n cases = 131) demonstrated that CyC production was associated with COVID-specific mortality (p=0.0007).

Interpretation: Our findings suggest that CyC may be useful for stratification of patients and it has functional role in the host response to COVID-19.

Cite as

Kleeman, S., Cordioli, M., Timmers, P., Khan, A., Tober-Lau, P., Kurth, F., Demichev, V., Meyer, H., Wilson, J., Ralser, M., Kiryluk, K., Ganna, A., Baillie, J. & Janowitz, T. 2022, 'Cystatin C is associated with adverse COVID-19 outcomes in diverse populations', iScience, 25(10), article no: 105040. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2022.105040

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Last updated: 22 September 2022
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