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

Henrietta Strickland
October 16, 2020

In this study, researchers analysed data from a Danish health registry that included more than 473 000 patients who were infected with Covid-19 between 27 February 2020 and 30 July 2020.

As per the observations made according to these data, they concluded that people who had blood type O were less vulnerable whereas people with A and AB were more at risk.

The two latest studies, one from Denmark and one from Canada, both appear to show that people with blood type O may be slightly less vulnerable to COVID-19 and have a reduced chance of getting severely ill. This means that it's not clear how the relationship between blood type and Covid-19 works and any link may be coincidental.

Researchers of this study found that Covid-19 patients with blood groups A and AB had an increased risk of severe clinical outcomes, compared to patients with blood groups O or B. 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.

Also this summer, the genealogy website 23andMe.com released data they collected from 750,000 participants who identified they have tested positive for COVID-19. It also found that people with blood group AB were the most likely to test positive for COVID-19 infection, followed by blood group B and then blood group A.

Previous studies have indicated similar results in patients with blood type O.

Between the blood types A, B and AB, no significant difference in rates of infection was found. Denmark is a small, ethnically homogenous country with a public health system and a central registry for lab data.

The findings are reported in a pair of studies published October 14 in the journal Blood Advances.

More patients with type A and AB blood required dialysis for kidney failure, the study added.

While it's still not clear whether this link is a direct cause-and-effect relationship or simply a coincidental correlation, the two new bits of research further builds on the idea that blood type might have some role in how Covid-19 affects people. They found that patients with blood groups A or AB were more likely to need mechanical ventilation, with 84 percent of A or AB patients requiring mechanical ventilation compared to 61 percent of O or B patients. The unique part of this study is the focus on the severity effect of blood type on COVID-19.

The second research is based on almost 95 people from Vancouver, Canada who had tested positive for the virus. "We observed this lung and kidney damage, and in future studies, we will want to tease out the effect of blood group and COVID-19 on other vital organs", said study author Dr. Mypinder Sekhon, a clinical instructor in the Division of Critical Care Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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