New evidence reinforces correlation between blood type and Covid-19 risk


In an attempt to understand more about how the coronavirus acts in the human body, two research published this week in Blood Advancessuggest that the blood type may or may not influence disease-related complications. In short, type O patients seem to have an advantage in this regard.

The studies are not the first to investigate the virus from this point of view, but they come to reinforce the suspicion that some people may simply be more resistant to severe illness or the contagion caused by it. From the new evidence, it is possible to create a clearer picture of a specific risk factor for the coronavirus.

Throughout the pandemic, studies indicate that some blood types are more resistant to Covid-19, such as type O. Credits: Nito / Shutterstock

Type O and the severity of the disease

In the first survey, scientists examined 35 people in severe Covid-19 at hospitals in Vancouver, Canada, between February and April. With the observations, it was possible to identify that patients with blood type O or B spend, on average, 4.5 days less in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) compared to patients with blood types A and AB. Specifically for the latter group, the average ICU stay is 13.5 days.

But what caught the attention of the researchers was not the blood type combined with the length of hospital stay, but the evidence that only 61% of patients with type O blood needed a ventilator for breathing. This number becomes significant when compared to patients with blood types A or B, who in 84% of the cases needed the equipment. The study also indicated that these most vulnerable patients are more likely to need dialysis.

“Patients in these two blood groups may have a higher risk of dysfunction or organ failure due to Covid-19 than people with blood types O or B,” they conclude in the study.

In this regard, another study carried out in June had already pointed out that patients from Italy and Spain with blood type O had 50% less risk of serious infection by the disease compared to patients of other blood types.


Researchers believe that people who have blood type O may be more resistant to contagion by the disease. Credits: Wan Wei / Shutterstock

Type O and reduced risks of infection

The other study released this week in the scientific publication highlights that people with type O blood may have a reduced risk of contracting the new coronavirus compared to other blood types. To that conclusion, the team of scientists examined half a million people who were tested for the disease in Holland between late February and late July.

Of the 4,600 people positive for Covid-19 and who revealed their blood type, only 38.4% were type O. To have an idea of ​​what this number represents, it is less than the prevalence of type O in a population of 2.2 million Danes, so it was safe for researchers to claim that people with type O successfully avoided contagion from the disease.

“The blood group O is significantly associated with reduced susceptibility,” wrote the authors in the document.

Although other research has shown the link between the characteristic and the development of the disease, one of the authors of the study carried out in Vancouver, Mypinder Sekhon, stressed that this bridge must still be analyzed with caution.

“I don’t think it substitutes for other serious risk factors, like age and comorbidities and so on. If any of the blood group A, you don’t need to panic. And if you are blood group O, you are not free to go to pubs and bars, “said Sekhon.

Source: Science Alert


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