Recent research adds more evidence that blood type may influence a person’s risk for COVID-19 infection and severe illness from the disease.
The findings are detailed in two papers published on October 14 in the journal Blood Advances.
In one study, researchers compared more than 473,000 COVID-19 patients in Denmark to more than 2.2 million participants in the general population.
The COVID-19 patients had a reduced prevalence of blood type O and a higher prevalence of blood types A, B, and AB.
The data imply that people with blood types A, B, or AB may be more prone to contract COVID-19 than people with blood type O. The infection rates were identical among patients with blood types A, B, and AB.
The other trial enrolled 95 critically ill COVID-19 patients admitted to a Canadian hospital. Patients with type A or AB blood were more likely to require mechanical breathing, implying a higher risk of COVID-19-induced lung injury.
The study added that more people with type A and AB blood required dialysis for renal failure.
According to the researchers, the data indicate that COVID-19 patients with blood types A and AB may have a higher chance of organ malfunction or failure than those with blood types O or B.
Additionally, they discovered that, while blood types A and AB did not have longer overall hospital stays than blood types O or B, they spent more time in intensive care, which may imply more severe COVID-19.
“The unique part of our study is our focus on the severity effect of blood type on COVID-19. We observed this lung and kidney damage, and in future studies, we will want to tease out the effect of blood group and COVID-19 on other vital organs,” said study author Dr. Mypinder Sekhon, a clinical instructor in the Division of Critical Care Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
“Of particular importance as we continue to traverse the pandemic, we now have a wide range of survivors who are exiting the acute part of COVID-19, but we need to explore mechanisms by which to risk stratify those with longer-term effects,” he added in a news release.
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