Doctors caution about study dissecting relationship between blood type and COVID-19

Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay

Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay

A study published in July looking at patients in five major hospitals in the state of MA found that people with blood type O were less likely to test positive for COVID-19 than those with other blood types.

The two studies provide further evidence that blood type or blood group may play a major role in a person's susceptibility to infection and their chance of having a severe bout of the disease. If anyone is blood group A, they don't need to start panicking. By contrast, 44.4 percent of type A tested positive, while in the wider Danish population that blood type makes up 42.4%.

The team found that patients with blood groups A or AB were more likely to require mechanical ventilation, suggesting that they had greater rates of lung injury from COVID-19.

These findings, taken together, suggest that patients in these two blood groups may have an increased risk of organ dysfunction or failure due to COVID-19 than people with blood types O or B.

Regardless of increased blood levels, the use of only IL-6 estimates as a Covid-19 predictor is hampered by a few variables.

While people with blood types A and AB did not have longer overall hospital stays than those with types O or B, they did remain in the intensive care unit (ICU) for a longer average time, which may also signal a greater COVID-19 severity level, the researchers said.

Among the COVID-19 patients, there was a lower percentage of people with blood type O and higher percentages of those with with types A, B and AB.

Health officials have estimated that 60,000 people could be suffering with long-term after effects of COVID-19.

As the pandemic continues, the global biomedical research community is working urgently to identify risk factors and potential therapeutic targets.

"We demonstrate that blood group O is significantly associated with reduced susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection", said the study published Wednesday on Blood Advances, a peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Society of Hematology.

Blood donation organisation Australian Red Cross says that 40 per cent of the Australian population has O blood type making it the most common group.

It also showed they were more vulnerable to infection and tended to develop more severe symptoms.

These new outcomes are similar conclusions about Type O blood detected in earlier research, generating a clearer picture of one specific coronavirus risk aspect.

Advice is still to wash your hands and follow the guidelines issued by authorities - whatever your blood type. "And even if you're blood type O, you're not free to go to the pubs and bars".

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