Two new studies have revealed that a particular blood type could reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19. According to the research, people with the blood type O could be less vulnerable to the virus and also have a reduced likelihood of falling severely ill or suffering the full extent of the symptoms.
While experts say more research is needed on why this link exists, this study provides further evidence that blood type could play a fairly substantial role in a person’s susceptibility to infection and their chances of experiencing a severe case.
A Danish study looked at a test group of 7,422 participants who tested positive for Covid-19 in which only 38.4 per cent were blood type O even though, among a population of 2.2 million who weren’t tested, that blood type makes up 41.7 per cent. In contrast, 42.4 per cent of the wider Danish population have blood type A but in the test, 44.4 per cent of the participants who tested positive had this blood type.
Another study conducted in Canada also found that those with blood type A or AB experienced a longer stay in the intensive care unit after contracting Covid-19 with a median of 13.5 days compared to those with blood type O or B who only remained in ICU for a median of nine days.
Additionally, the research found that among 95 patients who were critically ill with the virus, 84 per cent of those with blood type A or AB required mechanical ventilation. This was compared to just 61 per cent of patients with the blood type O or B who required this level of medical assistance.
Blood donation organisation Australian Red Cross says that 40 per cent of the Australian population has O blood type making it the most common group. Meanwhile, blood type B is much less common with just 8 per cent of the population having it.
On the other hand, those who the research deemed more susceptible to falling ill with Covid-19 include the 31 per cent of the population with blood type A and the 2 per cent of the population with blood type AB. And although this is impactful news for a large chunk of the Australian population, experts have assured that it doesn’t mean people can consider themselves exempt entirely.
“I don’t think this supersedes other risk factors of severity like age and co-morbidities and so forth,” Dr Sekhon, a clinical assistant professor in the Division of Critical Care Medicine and Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, told CNN. “If one is blood group A, you don’t need to start panicking. And if you’re blood group O, you’re not free to go to the pubs and bars.”