Your blood-group may be a key factor in how seriously you are attacked by the Covid-19 virus.

20 June 2020 By Paul Martin

These startling findings have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The article states that people with type A blood have a much higher risk of being infected with the coronavirus and developing worse symptoms.

At the peak of the pandemic in Europe, researchers examined the genes of more than 4 thousand people, searching for genetic and blood variations in people who had become infected with the coronavirus and had developed severe Covid-19.

The researchers were from Christian-Albrecht-University in Kiel, Germany, and from Oslo University Hospital in Norway.

The risk of suffering from severe Covid-19 was 45 percent higher for people with type A blood than those with other blood types, they concluded. It appeared to be 35 per cent lower for people with type O, by far the most common blood type.

Scientists are now continuing to analyse blood types to decide who is at greater risk of catching the disease severely and therefore what precautions to take. They also hope their findings will help in understanding just how the Coronavirus works inside people’s bodies once it has created the Covid-19 disease.


The Huffington Post on 23rd June 2020:

It’s looking increasingly likely that having blood type O might give you some protective effects against COVID-19, while blood type A may be linked to more severe illness from the virus.

A new European study involving 1,980 patients with COVID-19 revealed people with blood group A had a higher risk of catching coronavirus and developing severe symptoms than other blood groups. However, among those with blood group O, there appeared to be some form of “protective effect.”

Previous studies have shown similar findings. A preprint study of 2,173 patients with Covid-19 in China found people with blood group A were at a higher risk of contracting the disease, while people with blood group O had a lower risk of infection.

Another preprint study involving 1,559 coronavirus patients in New York found those with blood group A were 33% more likely to test positive for Covid-19 than other blood types, and those with O-negative and O-positive blood types were less likely to test positive.

Why might this be happening?There are four main blood groups. These are:
Blood group A, which has A antigens on the red blood cells with anti-B antibodies in the plasma.
Blood group B, which has B antigens with anti-A antibodies in the plasma.
Blood group O, which has no antigens, but both anti-A and anti-B antibodies in the plasma.
Blood group AB, which has both A and B antigens, but no antibodies.

Previous research into other forms of coronavirus found that certain antibodies linked to blood group O helped to fight off the virus better than others.

“People have seen that O blood group people are likely to be more protected against Sars-CoV previously compared to people with A blood type,” explains Sakthivel Vaiyapuri, an associate professor in cardiovascular and venom pharmacology at the University of Reading. “This was suggested to occur due to the presence of anti-A and anti-B antibodies in people with O blood group.”

Doctors at a Hong Kong hospital reported that anti-A antibodies were able to inhibit, or even block, the binding of the virus to the host cell, which may provide some explanation as to why being in the O blood group could offer more protection.

Should people with blood type A be worried? Vaiyapuri says while the new study is high quality, it “does not provide strong evidence” that blood group type can lead of itself to more severe COVID-19.

“Only a small percentage of protection/susceptibility clearly demonstrates that there are several other factors associated with this disease, and therefore further research is required to establish this link,” he says.

Danny Altmann, a professor at Imperial College London’s Department of Medicine, adds that “there’s not much you can do in terms of behavioural change, knowing that you’re slightly higher or lower risk.”

But he does say the findings “open doors to whole new directions for medical research and drug discovery to try and explain how the blood-group effect may be working.”

People with A blood group should not panic about these results, and at the same time, those in the O blood group should not be too relaxed about it, says Vaiyapure. Everyone should continue to stick to the lockdown rules: social distancing, washing hands regularly, not touching your face when out in public and wearing face covers where social distancing isn’t possible.

He concludes: “Everyone should follow the guidelines provided by the health authorities and be extremely cautious to protect themselves and others around them.”

That article originally appeared in HuffPost UK.

THEN ON OCTOBER 14 2020, THIS APPEARED in Blood Advances and was picked up by HealthDay News ( Er, they were beaten to reporting the basically same story by several months earlier!)

Your Blood Type May Predict Your Risk For Severe COVID-19

Oct. 14, 2020, at 12:00 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There’s more evidence that blood type may affect a person’s risk for COVID-19 and severe illness from the disease.

The findings are reported in a pair of studies published Oct. 14 in the journal Blood Advances.

In one, researchers compared more than 473,000 people in Denmark with COVID-19 to more than 2.2 million people in the general population.

Among the COVID-19 patients, there was a lower percentage of people with blood type O and higher percentages of those with with types A, B and AB.

The findings suggest that people with A, B or AB blood may be more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than people with type O blood. Infection rates were similar among people with types A, B and AB blood.

The other study included 95 critically ill COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Canada. Patients with type A or AB blood were more likely to require mechanical ventilation, suggesting that they had greater rates of lung injury from COVID-19.

More patients with type A and AB blood required dialysis for kidney failure, the study added.

The results suggest that COVID-19 patients with A and AB blood types may have an increased risk of organ dysfunction or failure than those with type O or B blood, according to the researchers.

They also found that while people with blood types A and AB didn’t have longer overall hospital stays than those with types O or B, on average, they were in intensive care longer, which may indicate 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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