COVID-19 and Blood Type: Does It Determine Your Risk?

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COVID-19 and Blood Type: Does It Determine Your Risk?

(AscendHealthy.com) – Individual COVID-19 dangers can vary depending on many factors, with the CDC warning that people in certain risk groups should take added precautions to avoid infection. But what if some people belong to a higher risk group and don’t even know it? Evidence is now pointing toward blood type as another indicator for severe disease.

Quick Read:
People with type A blood appear to be at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 complications, whereas people with type O blood seem to be at a far lower risk. The key may be in the antibodies that determine blood type. Get the details on this bizarre connection in the article below.


See How Blood Type Could Determine Your COVID-19 Risk.

Recent Findings

In May, a research group in China published a study in the British Journal of Haematology that highlighted an unusual finding: There has been a consistent and profound difference in both infection rate and disease severity between people with type A and type O blood.

The researchers looked at over 2,400 COVID-19 cases between four hospitals in Wuhan, comparing them to 3,694 healthy control subjects. When they broke the cases down by blood type, they found the percentage of infections changed drastically:

  • In the healthy control group, 1188 people had type A blood, 920 had type B, 336 had type AB and 1250 had type O.
  • In the COVID-19 group, 923 people had type A blood, 628 had type B, 245 had type AB and 622 had type O.

When comparing the percentages between the two groups, it breaks down to this:

  • In the healthy control group, roughly 32% had type A blood, 25% had type B, 9% had type AB, and nearly 34% had type O.
  • In the COVID-19 group, about 34% had type A blood, 25% had type B, 10% had type AB, and a little over 25% had type O.

When you compare the average population percentage to the COVID-19 hospitalization percentage, the two outliers become clear: People with type A blood are far more likely than people with other blood types to become hospitalized with COVID-19, while people with type O are much less likely. People with blood types B and AB both appear to run an average risk of catching and suffering complications from this virus.

Blood Type and Antibodies

So, why are people with type A blood more prone to COVID-19 complications, while those with type O run a smaller risk? The difference could lie in the antigens and antibodies that are responsible for our different blood types. Researchers at Texas Medical Center explain:

  • Type A occurs when someone has the blood type A antigen on their red blood cells, along with antibodies against blood type B circulating in their blood.
  • Type B occurs when someone has the blood type B antigen on their red blood cells, along with antibodies against blood type A circulating in their blood.
  • Type AB blood occurs when someone has both type A and B antigens on their red blood cells and neither antibody circulating in their blood.
  • Type O occurs when someone has neither A or B antigens on their red blood cells and antibodies against both circulating in their blood.

One theory suggests there could be similarities between A and B blood antigens and the surfaces of certain viruses, making people with type O blood better prepared against specific infections. More research is needed on the differences between blood types and their antibodies, but it seems that the two together may give the immune system an extra boost in fighting off coronaviruses.

Blood type could make a big difference in COVID-19 risk, but there are numerous other factors at play — and no one is immune to this virus. It’s important to remain diligent in this fight, applying practical safety measures and taking appropriate precautions when leaving the home, and that goes for people of all blood types.

~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension

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