Do your genes make you susceptible to colds?
Do you ever feel like you're always sick? Or every time there 's a cold going around, you always catch it? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have found that there may be an genetic explanation for your tendency to catch colds.
The scientists found that the length of telomeres - protective cap-like protein complexes at the ends of chromosomes – may predict susceptibility to an upper respiratory infection during young adulthood into midlife. There was no correlation between telomere length and disease susceptibility in patients under 21 and telomere length stopped being an appropriate indicator around age 55.
The study found that the length of telomeres changes with age, indicating that this age window provides the most accurate view of functionality. Shorter telomeres have also been associated with cardiovascular disease and cancer in older adults.
The study also found that the presence of a specific white blood cell - a CD8CD28- T-cytolytic cell -may also serve as an accurate predictor of cold and infection.