Which blood groups are most susceptible to COVID-19
Learn about the types of blood types and their immunity to the Coronavirus
Blood type does not affect our daily life much, in fact, most people do not even know if they are Type A, B, AB, or O, but the seemingly ordinary details may be a factor in who falls under the thumb of a tyrant around the world in 2021 "Coronavirus".
What are the studies on the effect of the Coronavirus on blood types?
- A new study in the journal Blood Advances supports what researchers have seen for a while: People with Type A blood are more likely to have COVID-19 while people with Type O appear to be more protective of it, according to a growing body of research.
- Researchers in China shared this idea for the first time in March, and the findings echoed in a research paper from Columbia University a month later.
- Even DNA testing company 23andMe tapped into its clients and found that out of the 750,000 people (the largest group of people studied so far) who were diagnosed and hospitalized for COVID-19, those with type O were most protected.
- Then, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed the idea with a peer-reviewed study: People with type A blood were 45 percent more likely to develop COVID-19 compared to those with other blood types. While people with type O were 35 percent less likely, I don't think having type A or type B is the problem - it's just the lack of type O, ”says Mark Udden, MD, professor of hematology and oncology at Baylor College of Medicine at Houston.
Are people with blood type A more likely to die from COVID-19?
- So people with type A may be more susceptible to contracting the virus, but whether they also exacerbated it remains unclear: The NEJM study indicates that people with type A blood were more likely to have respiratory failure.
- However, research from Columbia University found that there is really no difference between intubation or death and the different blood types.
- A study recently published in the Annals of Hematology examined the relationship between blood types and the need for intubation or death in confirmed COVID-19 patients. They found no link between blood type and disease severity.
- The new research in Blood Advances, mentioned above, has similar results. Although the never-ending questions about this new disease are valid, another smaller study, also conducted in Blood Advances, suggested that blood types A or AB have higher risks than some. Intensive interventions and a longer period of stay in the intensive care unit, but the researchers themselves considered the link so far "unresolved."
What is the difference in type O?
We don't know why people with type O might be more protective - but there are a lot of theories.
The basic idea is that blood type may affect a person's ability to fight the virus, says David Aronoff, MD, director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, which may affect the strength of your immune system or the inflammatory response to infection.
Either way, this will affect not only how likely you are to contract the virus but also how severe the symptoms are, he explains.
Nevertheless, the NEJM paper highlights the antibodies we produce depending on blood type.
"If you are type O, you naturally make antibodies to type A and type B," says Dr. Auden, explaining that these type A antibodies may make it difficult for SARS-CoV-2 to bind to its type O receptors and multiply in the body.
But there is another interesting layer of a potential protective component in type O blood: something called von Willebrand factor, which is a glycoprotein responsible for repairing damage to blood vessels by inducing the blood to clot.
We know that the COVID-19 virus destroys the lining of the blood vessels, your body then releases von Willebrand factor or VWF into your blood so it can repair the damage to the walls of blood vessels, but VWF also encourages clotting.
“In the COVID-19 patients who die, we are seeing unusually high clotting problems, such as strokes, kidney failure, and pulmonary embolism - so we know there is a clotting problem caused by the virus,” says Dr. Auden.
A recent analysis in The Lancet found that compared to COVID-19 patients who were not in intensive care, those who were critically ill in the ICU and died had higher VWF antigens in their blood.
Guess what: People with type A blood have higher levels of VWF naturally than people with blood type O, Dr. Auden points out. Additionally, black people, who die at a disproportionately high rate from COVID-19, tend to have higher levels of VWF as well.
If I am O, am I safe from Coronavirus?
Just because you are type O does not mean that you are in a clear situation.
We don't know about asymptomatic carriers of the virus - that is, Type O can still pass the virus to other people without knowledge as Type A does.
"There are two possibilities: You are type O, so you may not catch the virus because it does not have a landing strip - there is nothing to stick with," Dr. Oden explains, "or by being type O, it enters the virus but the antibody A prevents it from attaching to the cells Enough to cause disease, but the virus is still in your system and you can still pass it on to someone else. "
Is blood type the main risk factor?
No, blood type is actually a very poor player, says Dr. Auden.
Socioeconomic status is a huge vulnerability - you'll likely need to work outside the home, in crowded buildings, and live in cramped quarters with more family members.
Age and health are next in susceptibility, and Dr. Auden adds that if you are older or have an underlying disease such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, you are more likely to develop a severe case of the Coronavirus.
The bottom line is the blood type and the risk of COVID-19
People with type O blood may be slightly more protected from the virus, and people with type A blood are more susceptible.
But, as far as we know, everyone is still at risk of contracting the virus, and most definitely are at risk of being a symptom carrier - and thus passing it on to others.
Dr. Auden notes that discovering the protective effect of type O is critical to building an understanding of how the virus works - especially given that there aren't many other patterns that follow.
But both documents agree that no one's behavior should actually be changed.
"I'm Type O, and I'm not going to hang around bars just because of this slight protective effect," says Dr. Auden.
"These results should not change your behavior," adds Dr. Aronov, "A person can still get sick with SARS-CoV-2 and/or participate in the chain of transmission."
The bottom line: The safest and most effective way to prevent contracting the coronavirus or unintentionally transmitting it to others is to continue wearing a mask and socially distancing themselves from people - regardless of your blood type.