Two studies have linked the risk of COVID-19 with something that is impossible to change: our blood type.
One of the studies, carried out on 2,173 COVID patients in three hospitals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, China, compared the blood types of individuals with COVID to others in the same region who did not get sick.
The results showed that the group with type A blood were associated with a higher risk of developing COVID-19, while blood type O was associated with a lower risk of infection.
This is the first observation regarding an association between blood type and COVID-19. However, researchers emphasized that this is a preliminary study and that it would be premature to use it as a guide for clinical practice at this time.
Despite this, they did add that it should encourage more research on the relationship between blood type and the susceptibility of suffering from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The other study, carried out in Europe on 1,980 patients which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine also analyzed this risk factor. It found that people with type A blood have a higher risk of contracting coronavirus and developing severe symptoms, while people with type O blood have a lower risk of presenting this acute clinical picture.
“Our genetic data confirms that people with type O blood are associated with lower risk of getting COVID-19 than people with other blood types.”
Researchers found that people with type A blood have a 45% higher risk of becoming infected than people with other blood types.
On the other hand, they found that those with type O blood have only a 65% risk of becoming infected compared to people with other blood types.
The study, which was preliminary published without peer review (the traditional process all scientific publications must go through), was later reviewed and published in the scientific magazine.
Serious cases of COVID-19 cause acute respiratory failure, and in many cases patients require a ventilator.
Scientists warn however, that the findings do not mean that people with type O blood are free from risk.
A reduction in risks can be statistically significant, but make only a small difference in the actual risk. Consequently, in their final discussion, they wrote that doctors should never tell a person that “they have no risk of infection.
According to researchers, the findings are more useful in designing medications or vaccines against the coronavirus.