Blood type could be linked to Covid-19 risk and severity
Oct 17 2020
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 research not only has given us the ability to accurately test for antibodies against Covid-19, but also has armed us with the knowledge that lasting immunity is a reality".
"This doesn't mean that if you're blood group O you don't have a risk of severe outcomes from covid, nor does it mean that if your blood group A you're doomed", said Dr. Catherine Diefenbach of NYU Langone Health.
Diefenbach, the director of the lymphoma service at NYU's Perlmutter Cancer Center, says that blood types had little effect on other important outcomes.
The researchers also found more patients with blood group A and AB required dialysis for kidney failure.
It makes very little difference to most people's daily lives unless you have to have a blood transfusion.
"I think this has scientific interest, and when we find out what the mechanism is, perhaps we're able to use that proactively in some way in regard to treatment".
The first of the two studies saw scientists look at health registry data from more than 473,000 people in Denmark who tested for Covid-19 and compared it to a control group of more than 2.2 million people from the general population, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the total Danish population.
In the Canadian study, they looked at the length of hospital stays for 95 people critically ill with the coronavirus.
While there are several theories, researchers don't yet know what mechanism could explain the link between different blood groups and Covid-19.
Thirty-five states are showing increases in new Covid-19 cases greater than 10% over the last week compared to the prior week. It is possible that in the future it will be necessary to revise the concept of "risk group" for coronavirus infection. They found the portion of patients who needed mechanical ventilation was higher in those with blood type A or AB when compared with a group of patients with blood type O or B.
"While we're not quite to the point where this is ironclad, it's clearly suggestive, and we have not seen anything inconsistent with this".
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.
Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box on Wednesday said that she, an adult daughter and 23-month-old grandson have tested positive for COVID-19. "I think we're in for a pretty bad fall and winter", said Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and dean of tropical medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. So what can we learn from these COVID blood type studies?