By Tara Rippin • 15 October 2020 • 10:11
Blood type could be linked to Covid risk and severity, new studies suggest.
INDIVIDUALS with blood type O – the most common group in the UK – may have lowest risk of infection while those with A and AB may have increased risk of severe clinical outcomes, new evidence claims.
Two studies published in Blood Advances this week suggest people with blood type O may have a lower risk of Covid-19 infection and reduced likelihood of severe outcomes, including organ complications, if they do get sick.
As the pandemic continues, the global biomedical research community is working urgently to identify coronavirus risk factors and potential therapeutic targets.
The potential role of blood type in predicting risk and complications of Covid-19 infection has emerged as an important scientific question.
These new studies offer evidence that there may be an association between blood type and vulnerability to the killer bug; however, experts have said additional research is needed to better understand why and what it means for patients.
In one of the studies, researchers compared Danish health registry data from more than 473,000 people tested for Covid-19 with data from a control group of more than 2.2 million people from the general population.
Among the Covid-19 positive, they found fewer people with blood type O and more people with A, B, and AB types.
The research team say these results suggest that people with blood types A, B, or AB may be more likely to be infected than people with type O.
They didn’t find any significant difference in rate of infection between A, B, and AB types.
THe trends remained the same after the team took into account ethnicity which affefcts blood group distributions.
“It is very important to consider the proper control group because blood type prevalence may vary considerably in different ethnic groups and different countries,” said study author Torben Barington, MD, of Odense University Hospital and the University of Southern Denmark.
“We have the advantage of a strong control group – Denmark is a small, ethnically homogenous country with a public health system and a central registry for lab data – so our control is population-based, giving our findings a strong foundation.”
Meanwhile, in a second study, Canadian researchers examined data from 95 critically ill coronavirus patients hospitalised in Vancouver.
They 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.
They also found more patients with blood group A and AB required dialysis for kidney failure.
Furthermore, 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 longer on averag.
The Canadian team said this may also signal a greater Covid-19 severity level.
Yesterday, it was revealed coronavirus cases have increased by 40 per cent in the UK. The increase in cases has become an extreme concern.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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