Health Care

Your blood type may determine how sick you get from COVID

Your blood type may determine how sick you get from COVID”

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists have sought to figure out what diseases increase a person's risk of complications. Only 53 congenital heart patients (43 adults and 10 children) - less than 0.8 per cent of patients at Columbia's congenital heart center - presented to their physician with symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection from March through June, showed the findings published in the journal JAHA.

A growing body of evidence suggests those who have blood type O may be less likely to contract coronavirus and typically experience less severe symptoms when they do come down with the illness.

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 a longer average time, which may also signal a greater COVID-19 severity level, the researchers said. Researchers in Denmark find fewer coronavirus patients have O blood compared to those with A, B, and AB blood.

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.

It's important to emphasize that the type of reduction in risk achieved with appropriate physical distancing, wearing a mask, and hand hygiene are significantly better than depending on your blood group for protection, so people with blood type O should not be complacent about public health advice.

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The first of the two studies saw scientists look at health registry data from more than 473,000 people in Denmark who tested for Covid-19 and compared it to a control group of more than 2.2 million people from the general population, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the total Danish population.

They also controlled for ethnicity, as blood group distributions differ among ethnic groups, and maintained that fewer people with blood type O tested positive for Covid-19.

According to the American Red Cross, O-positive is the most common type of blood across all races.

The other study included 95 critically ill COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Canada. People with O-blood are also capable of donating red blood cells to any other type. This means that it's not clear how the relationship between blood type and Covid-19 works and any link may be coincidental. There again, it was observed that of all blood group types, blood type O (positive or negative) was the most "protected" ones of all.

Researchers from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in NY say that at the beginning of the pandemic, many feared that congenital heart disease would be as big a risk factor for severe COVID-19 as adult-onset cardiovascular disease.



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