Coronavirus blood type: Can your blood type affect COVID-19 symptoms?

Coronavirus debuted as a pandemic in March this year, months after the first cases erupted in China. Since then, while most countries have quickly risen to the occasion, they have discovered relatively little about the new disease. New revelations of COVID-19 emerge every day, and the latest alludes to a connection to people’s blood.

Can your blood type affect COVID-19 symptoms?

Scientists and health officials use blood types to classify inherited substances and antibodies present in people’s red blood cells.

Each type comes with specific antibodies and antigens, which can affect people’s overall health.

For example, people with O-type blood are less susceptible to heart disease, and it appears they may also have reduced susceptibility to COVID-19.


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Research with genetic testing company 23andMe found people with O Type blood were up to 18 percent less likely to test positive for COVID-19.

Those who had the blood type and had been exposed to the virus were also deemed up to 26 percent less likely to contract it.

The study of 750,000 people found just 1.3 percent of those with the type tested positive for COVID-19.

In comparison, those with A-type blood were confirmed to have contracted the virus, alongside 1.5 percent of people with B or AB blood.

These discoveries remained constant across age, sex underlying health conditions and body mass index.

The study recently received approval to appear in a peer-reviewed journal, but have yet to be published.

A statement on the 23andMe blog read: “The study and recruitment are ongoing, with the hope that we can use our research platform to better understand differences in how people respond to the virus.

“Ultimately, we hope to publish our research findings in order to provide more insight into COVID-19 for the scientific community.”

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A separate study approved for publication in a peer-reviewed journal has found coronavirus may negatively impact people with certain blood types.

The research, which looked at a smaller sample of 1,300 people admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties from COVID-19, found people with A-type blood were up to 50 percent more likely to need a ventilator.

Roughly 42 percent of the British population has A-type blood, and the findings correlate with those made in China.

Scientists there found blood type may determine the severity and susceptibility to COVID-19.

Researchers are perplexed as to why blood type has such a measurable involvement.

Andre Franke, professor of molecular medicine at Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel said the research is now taking momentum within the scientific community.

He said: “Now this is on the radar everywhere, people are looking very closely at it.”

Professor Franke and his colleagues have also found other genes which may impact the path of the virus.

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