Your blood type may determine how sick you get from COVID

What’s your blood type? This can affect your risk for

What’s your blood type? This can affect your risk for

A growing body of evidence suggests those who have blood type O may be less likely to contract coronavirus and typically experience less severe symptoms when they do come down with the illness.

While no significant difference in the rate of infection was found between blood groups "A", "AB", and "B" types, the study did suggest that the first two are associated with an increased risk of severe clinical outcomes of the infection, the agency said in its report. Researchers in Denmark find fewer coronavirus patients have O blood compared to those with A, B, and AB blood. It was found that those with blood types A or AB "were more likely to require mechanical ventilation, suggesting that they had greater rates of lung injury from COVID-19".

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.

In this study, researchers investigated data from 95 critically ill, hospitalised Covid-19 patients in Vancouver, Canada, who were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) between 1 March 2020 and 28 April 2020. It could be, for example, that a certain ethnic group is at a higher risk of catching Covid-19 and they incidentally are likely to share a certain blood type.

People with type A blood, however, accounted for 44.4% of the infected patients, the study found, despite making up 42.4% of the untested group.

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Lead author of the study, Dr Mypinder Sekhon, of the University of British Columbia, said: "The unique part of our study is our focus on the severity effect of blood type on COVID-19".

Types A and AB also needed a sort of dialysis that helps the kidneys filter blood without putting too much pressure on the heart more often than their counterparts.

A separate retrospective study showed that blood groups A and AB "appear to exhibit greater COVID-19 disease severity than people with blood groups O or B".

It's important to emphasize that the type of reduction in risk achieved with appropriate physical distancing, wearing a mask, and hand hygiene are significantly better than depending on your blood group for protection, so people with blood type O should not be complacent about public health advice. This means that it's not clear how the relationship between blood type and Covid-19 works and any link may be coincidental.

"Of particular importance as we continue to traverse the pandemic, we now have a wide range of survivors who are exiting the acute part of COVID-19, but we need to explore mechanisms by which to risk stratify those with longer-term effects", he added in a news release.

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