This Blood Type May Make You Less Vulnerable to COVID
Early into the pandemic researcher identified that certain factors make some people more prone to serious COVID-19 infections than others. Age, gender, pre-existing health conditions, and skin color can increase your vulnerability to the virus, making you more likely to suffer a severe infection and increase your chance of death. Interestingly enough, blood type has also been linked to COVID vulnerability, and two new studies continue to confirm that people with a single blood type are less likely to get severely ill than others. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Which Blood Type Makes You Less Vulnerable to COVID?
Two studies published on Wednesday, both in the journal Blood Advances, found a definite link between blood type and susceptibility to the virus. However, neither fully addresses the implication it has for patients.
The first study, conducted by Danish researchers, examined 473,654 people who got tested for COVID-19. Even though blood type O makes up an estimated 41.7% of the population, only 38.4% of the cohort with it tested positive for the virus.
In the other study, researchers in Canada found that among 95 patients critically ill with Covid-19, only 61% of those with blood group O or B required ventilation compared to 84% or those with O or B. They also found that those with type A or AB blood were in the ICU longer — around 13.5 days — compared to the O or B group who only averaged nine days.
"As a clinician … it is at the back of my mind when I look at patients and stratify them. But in terms of a definitive marker we need repeated findings across many jurisdictions that show the same thing," said Dr. Mypinder Sekhon, an intensive care physician at Vancouver General Hospital and an author of the Canadian study, tells CNN.
"I don't think this supersedes other risk factors of severity like age and co-morbities and so forth," added Sekhon.
Your Blood Type Does Not Give You Immunity
Sekhon also reminds that blood type isn't a death sentence, nor does it mean you have immunity to the virus. "If one is blood group A, you don't need to start panicking. And if you're blood group O, you're not free to go to the pubs and bars."
Dr. Torben Barington, the senior author of the Danish paper and a clinical professor at Odense University Hospital and the University of Southern Denmark, adds that it isn't clear why those with blood type O seem to be less impacted. "We do not know whether this is some kind of protection of group O, or whether it's some kind of vulnerability in the other blood groups," he said."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."
Sekhon suggests that the reasoning behind it could have to do with blood clotting — for example, that people with the blood type have less of a key clotting tendency. There could also be a genetic explanation or have to do with blood group antigens.
These two studies line up with the findings of a June study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in June. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.