By Cara Murez
WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Some people may have a gene that helps protect them from respiratory diseases like COVID-19 — and helped their ancestors fight the plague.
It comes at a cost.
This same gene variation may be linked to an increased risk of autoimmune disease, including rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, according to British researchers.
“This gene essentially chops up proteins for the immune system,” said lead author Fergus Hamilton, a fellow at the University of Bristol.
“Although we don’t know the exact mechanism influencing disease risk, carriers of alleles that provide more protection against respiratory…