Blood type and genetics can determine your chances of getting coronavirus, study finds

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, factors such as age and underlying health conditions such as diabetes can put you at higher risk of contracting coronavirus. But another factor that could affect your chances of contracting the coronavirus is your blood type, at least according to a recent study.

People with blood type A were “associated with” a “45% higher risk of contracting COVID-19” compared to people with other blood types, according to a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine at peer-reviewed by a team of European scientists. Meanwhile, people with blood type O, the most common blood type, are less likely to contract the coronavirus than people with other blood types.

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The researchers arrived at this result after performing genetic analysis on more than 1,900 seriously ill coronavirus patients in Spain and Italy and comparing them to more than 2,000 patients who were not ill.

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One commonality they found was a cluster of DNA that determines blood types, among other components of the human body. This prompted further research into the specific blood types present in the majority of severe coronavirus cases they examined.

Since DNA type is found in other parts of the body, blood type may not be able to predict the risk of contracting coronavirus, said Roy Silverstein, a hematologist who is the chairman of the department of Medicine from the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“Those who are not type A should not interpret this study to mean that they can let their guard down. Likewise, the data is not yet compelling enough to recommend that people with type A should do even more than is recommended.


— Roy Silverstein, Wisconsin Medical School

“Those who aren’t type A shouldn’t interpret this study to mean they can let their guard down,” said Silverstein, former president of the American Society of Hematology. “Similarly, the data is not yet compelling enough to recommend that people with type A should do even more than is recommended.”

“Everyone should pay attention to the prevention of COVID-19 by following well-accepted guidelines for social distancing, face coverings, hand washing, self-isolation and testing for possible symptoms. related to COVID.”

An earlier study published by the Southern University of Science and Technology in China, which has not been peer-reviewed, and a study by 23andMe, a private genetic analysis company, showed similar results.

But even still, Silverstein urged people to take these findings “with a grain of salt.”

“This study, along with other Chinese and 23andMe studies, all suggest, but do not prove, a statistical association between non-O blood type and risk of infection with the COVID-19 virus or risk of developing a serious illness if infected.”

But the studies, he said, should prompt “more rigorous clinical studies as well as basic science studies to probe the mechanisms by which ABO blood type and/or ABO genes might influence the ability of the coronavirus to infect people.” cells or the body’s immune response to the virus”.

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