Your Blood Type May Predict Your Risk For Severe COVID-19

Grant Boone
October 16, 2020

Among the COVID-19 positive, they found fewer people with blood type O and more people with A, B, and AB types.

Blood type O may offer some protection against COVID-19 infection, according to a retrospective study.

In the first study, researchers compared Danish health registry data from over 473,000 individuals tested for COVID-19 to data from a control group of more than 2.2 million people from the general population.

There are four new cases of Covid-19 to report today, all of which are in managed isolation or quarantine, and one historical case. Since blood group distributions vary among ethnic subgroups, the researchers also controlled for ethnicity and maintained that fewer people with blood type O tested positive for the virus.

"The study suggests if you have type O, you have a slightly lower risk", Dr. Roy Silverstein, chair of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, said. The potential role of blood type in predicting risk and complications of COVID-19 infection has emerged as an important scientific question.

In the second study, scientists examined 95 critically ill coronavirus patients in a hospital in Vancouver. The former group also remained in the intensive care unit for a median of 13.5 days, while the latter's median stay was nine days.

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Again, researchers found differences in blood types. This time, certain types appeared to be associated with worse outcomes.

"A higher proportion of COVID-19 patients with blood group A or AB required mechanical ventilation and had a longer ICU stay compared with patients with blood group O or B", the study authors wrote.

Types A and AB were also more likely to need a type of dialysis that helps the kidneys filter blood without too much pressure on the heart.

Past research has also suggested that people with Type O blood were less susceptible to SARS, which shares 80 percent of its genetic code with the new coronavirus. There is zero indication that any blood type is either totally protective or dooms a patient to severe outcomes of COVID-19.

"I don't think this supersedes other risk factors of severity like age and comorbidities and so forth", he told CNN, adding, "if one is blood group A, you don't need to start panicking". Yet another earlier study by a US-based biotechnology company, 23andMe, said that people with O-type blood group are less likely to catch the COVID-19 infection. For example, people with type A blood produce different antibodies to people with blood type O. It's still not known, however, whether this has any significant effect on a person's ability to battle Covid-19. Cholera is a bacterial infection that affects the small intestine. "And if you're blood group O, you're not free to go to the pubs and bars".

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