Does Your Blood Type Make You More Likely To Catch Coronavirus?
With the coronavirus pandemic raging across the world, doctors have recorded a variety of reactions from patients who have been infected with the virus. Some only experience zero to moderate symptoms while others suffer greatly from the virus, and even die.
This disparity within the range of symptoms has left many people confused and frightened. Many people across the world are asking, what makes some people more susceptible to catching COVID-19?
Studies from research teams worldwide are coming out with new information regarding the relationship between blood type and someone’s likelihood of catching coronavirus. While the virus continues to spread, we learn more, but these initial studies are shedding important light on an issue that seems to be on the top of everyone’s mind.
Keep reading to learn which blood type may be more at risk and how this new research might help with treatment.
The Race Is On
Coronavirus first gained worldwide attention in early 2020 when it began to spread out of China and into the rest of the world. Since then, the virus has spread to nearly every corner of the globe. The rate at which the virus has spread has left researchers and doctors scrambling to learn about the virus and how it might be addressed.
Many factors have been considered including age, immune system, and genetics. Because the virus is so new, it has left researchers urgently searching for answers. Some researchers have turned their attention to the study of genetics and its relationship to COVID-19.
While many factors need to be considered, like sex, race, ethnicity, age, body mass index, and preexisting conditions, researchers have narrowed in on a direct relationship between blood type and coronavirus.
Research By 23andME
Research conducted by 23andMe has found that people with blood type O are 9-18% less likely to test positive for the virus. Conversely, people with the AB blood type were the most likely to test positive for coronavirus. That said, 23andMe stated there was no major statistical difference between the blood types AB, A, and B.
The study shows that people with AB blood type may be at higher risk of needing ventilation or suffering serious consequences if infected with COVID-19.
It is important to remember that nobody’s blood type actually can defend them against contracting the virus, and that blood type is not the only factor at play in determining the severity of the virus.
Genomewide Association Study Of Severe Covid-19 With Respiratory Failure
Another study, conducted by German and Norwegian researchers and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, uncovered some incredible insights into the relationship between blood type and the coronavirus.
The team looked closely at over 1,600 patients with COVID-19 in hard-hit areas like Italy and Spain including Milan, Madrid, Monza, San Sebastian, and Barcelona. Of these patients they studied, all had severe reactions to the disease, and some succumbed to it in the end.
During their research, this team of experts found that people with blood type A are likely at a higher risk of a more severe case of COVID-19. This study differs slightly from the 23andMe research that noted there is not a major statistical difference between AB, A, and B blood types when it comes to more severe reactions.
The team from Germany and Norway noted that they found that the risk of a more serious COVID-19 course for such patients with blood types B or AB is likely somewhere in between that of patients with types 0 or A.
These important studies have begun to shed light on how the coronavirus may affect different types of people according to their blood type. As the number of patients grows larger around the world, more studies need to be conducted to fully understand the relationship.
How The Findings Can Help With Treatment
COVID-19 is certainly not the first virus to cause researchers to examine blood type and its influence on a person’s immune system. Research around malaria has found that people with blood type O are far less likely to demonstrate a severe reaction to the disease.
Additionally, researchers have also discovered that people with blood type A show the mildest symptoms as compared to other blood types when infected.
Every factor from age to DNA to blood type is currently being considered in the hope that it can lead doctors to more effective treatments for patients.
While initial studies show that blood type O is least likely to show severe symptoms from COVID-19, we still have a journey ahead of us to fully understand blood types and their unique relationship to coronavirus.