By Pepi Sappal • 19 June 2020 • 3:22
A NEW genetic analysis of Covid-19 patients indicates that blood type “could potentially” influence how severely a person is likely to suffer from the disease. According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, a China study “does confirm a link”, albeit “tentative.”
The China study involved scientists in Italy, Spain, Denmark, Germany and other countries, which compared around 2,000 patients with severe Covid-19 to several thousand other people who were healthy or who had only mild or no symptoms, exploring links between six genes, as well as blood groups, to the risk and severity of the disease. When scientists compared the genes of thousands of patients in Europe, it discovered that those with blood type A were “more likely to have a severe reaction to the disease than those with blood type O.”
According to Eric Topol, head of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in San Diego, “people with blood type O were less likely to get a severe disease” during the SARS outbreak. But Topol, as well as other doctors, believe the “current evidence” isn’t enough to know for certain if there is a solid link, and urge more research. Dr David Valle, Director of the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, for example, describes the study as “provocative,” which needs “verification in more patients.”
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