How your blood type could influence your risk of getting COVID-19

Some people are more at risk of getting COVID-19…

More men seem to get the virus than women. People between 30 and 79 years old seem to get the virus more than people in their 20s. And people in their 20s get it more than teens and children.

All that said, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the virus and risk factors… which is why researchers are working around the clock to get this virus figured out. And the good news is, they’re uncovering more information every day. But some of the information that’s coming to light is surprising, to say the least…

Did you know, for example, that your blood type may put you at a higher risk for COVID-19? It sounds strange. But a new study shows it could be true.

People with this blood type may have a bigger risk

A recent study from researchers in China shows that people with type A bloodhave a significantly higher risk of COVID-19 than people with other blood types.

The study included data from 2,173 people with COVID-19 who were admitted to three hospitals in Wuhan and Shenzhen. Researchers looked at blood type distribution among the general population in those areas and compared it to blood type distribution among people with COVID-19. Here’s what they found…

People with type A blood had the highest risk. People with type B blood had the second-highest risk. People with type AB blood had the third-highest risk. And people with type O blood had the lowest risk.

Here’s how the risk broke out specifically:

  • In Wuhan’s general population 31 percent of people had type A, but 38 percent of people with COVID-19 had type A blood.
  • In the general population, 24 percent of people had type B blood, but 26 percent of people with COVID-19 had type B blood.
  • In the general population, 9 percent of people had type AB, but 10 percent of people with COVID-19 had type AB blood.
  • In the general population, 34 percent of people had type O blood, but only 25 percent of COVID-19 patients had type O blood.

Now, this study is preliminary. It hasn’t been peer-reviewed, and it’s far from the last word on the matter. But it appears that having type A blood could put you at an elevated risk for COVID-19. And truthfully, the connection between blood type and viral susceptibility has been demonstrated before…

Blood type is determined by the antigens (molecules) on the surface of blood cells. Certain viruses require certain antigens to latch on to. Norovirus, the virus that causes stomach flu, is one example. It affects people with type B blood less because that blood doesn’t have the antigens it needs to do its dirty work.

There may be something similar happening with COVID-19, but it’s far too early to know for sure.

Don’t believe blood type is going to save you

The results of this study are fascinating but shouldn’t impact your COVID-19 prevention efforts any. We all need to be doing everything we can to protect ourselves no matter our gender, age, blood type or anything else.

Because the fact is, this virus is somewhat unpredictable. You never know who it’s going to impact in a severe way. So, continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands and take good care of yourself.



Sources:

  1. Some Blood Types May Be Slightly More Susceptible to COVID-19, Paper Suggests — ScienceAlert
  2. Who is getting sick, and how sick? A breakdown of coronavirus risk by demographic factors — STAT
  3. The coronavirus is killing far more men than women — The Washington Post

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