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  • Do you have these blood types? You may be at higher risk of catching coronavirus

    You may be at higher risk of catching coronavirus File Photo You may be at higher risk of catching coronavirus

    A person with blood type O may have a reduced risk of contracting coronavirus and even with the infection, a lower risk of severe symptoms, new studies have shown.

    According to two studies published in "Blood Advances" — a peer-reviewed, online only, open access journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) — there is some evidence that there may be a link between blood type and vulnerability to COVID-19.

    The findings of the two studies are outlined below:

    Fewer coronavirus patients with blood type O

    A retrospective study of individuals tested for coronavirus showed that blood type O "may offer some protection against COVID-19 infection".

    When researchers parsed through data from the Danish health registry of more than 473,000 people tested for COVID-19 and compared it to a control group of over 2.2. million people from the general populace, they found that among COVID-positive patients, there were fewer with blood type O and more with blood types A, B and AB.

    This lends credence to the fact that people with blood type A, B and AB, may be more at risk of getting infected than those with blood type O.

    Between the blood types A, B and AB, no significant difference in rates of infection was found.

    Severe symptoms for people with blood types A, AB

    A separate retrospective study showed that blood groups A and AB "appear to exhibit greater COVID-19 disease severity than people with blood groups O or B".

    Researchers looked at data from 95 critically ill and hospitalised COVID-19 patients in Vancouver, Canada. It was found that those with blood types A or AB "were more likely to require mechanical ventilation, suggesting that they had greater rates of lung injury from COVID-19".

    It was also found that more patients with groups A and AB needed dialysis for kidney failure.

    What does this mean?

    The two studies together show that blood groups A and AB are particularly at risk of organ failure due to COVID-19 as compared to blood types O and B.

    Also, people with type A and AB did not require a longer duration of hospitalisation but did remain in the intensive care unit (ICU) for longer on average, compared to people with types O or B, indicating a more severe form of COVID-19.

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