Blood Type May Determine the Risk of Contracting COVID-19

Blood Type

Researchers have more evidence that a person’s blood types may affect the risk of contacting COVID-19 and how severe the infection may attack certain individuals. Studies indicate some blood types are less likely to become infected, according to NBC News on Oct. 14, 2020.

In one study they looked at about 473,654 people in Denmark who were tested for COVID-19 between February and July. They compared them to the general population of about 2.2 million people.

Most of the results were negative, and about 7,422 results came back positive. Among those who tested positive for the coronavirus, A, B, or AB blood types had a higher percentage than those with type O blood. The study author wrote:

Blood group O is significantly associated with reduced susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Blood TypeSARS-CoV-2 is a virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the people who tested positive, the data shows that people with A, B, or AB blood types are more likely to contract the infection than people with type O. The infection rates were similar among the people with types A, B, and AB blood types.

At the present time, there is no reason to think that if you have type O blood, you’re protected from Covid-19.

The second study took place from February to April. They studied 95 hospitalized critically ill COVID-19 patients in Vancouver, Canada. These in the intensive care with A, B, and AB blood types were more likely to suffer lung injuries, and more of them require ventilators and longer ICU stays compared with those with type B or O.

Clinical instructor in the Division of Critical Care Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and the study author Dr. Mypinder Sekhon said:

The unique part of our study is our focus on the severity effect of COVID-19 among different blood types. We observed the lungs and kidneys damage, and in future studies, we want to learn the effect of blood types and COVID-19 has on other vital organs.

Experimental findings will not alter the way doctors deal with infected people. The former president of the American Society of Hematology and chair of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. Silverstein said:

We will not treat someone who is hospitalized with type O differently than someone with type A. At the present time, there is no reason to think that if you have type O blood, you’re protected from Covid-19. This is a interesting cocktail party conversation.

Certain blood types are associated with worse outcomes; some patients with A and AB was also likely to need dialysis to help their kidneys filter their blood without extra pressure to their hearts.

The genetic testing firm, 23andMe, suggested that those with type O blood, more than likely, have some protection against the Coronavirus. Early results indicated that people with O blood were between 9 percent and 19 percent less likely to test positive for COVID-19 when compared to other blood types.

Public health officials state that everyone needs to take the same precautions, such as proper hand-washing, social distancing, and wearing a mask when out in public, no matter the blood type. The two studies do not show cause and effect, but it merely shows the association between blood types and the virus.

In the United States coronavirus infections a rising dramatically. Other countries are reporting a surge in cases as well. The studies’ results can help doctors around the world with their fight against the disease, and it will help them learn how to treat people with different blood types.

While there appears to be a correlation between certain blood types and the chance of catching the virus, no one is excluded from the risk of the infection.

Written by Jessica Letcher
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

NBC News: What’s your blood type? It may affect your risk for Covid-19; Erika Edwards

Fox News: Coronavirus risk lowered for this blood type, studies suggest; Madeline Farber

Medical Xpress: Your blood type may predict your risk for severe COVID-19

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of Illinois Springfield’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License

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