Study Disproves Theory That Blood Type Affects COVID Risk

A or B, AB or O, it doesn’t matter: Your blood type has nothing to do with your risk for severe COVID-19, a new study concludes.

Early in the pandemic, some reports suggested that people with type A blood were more susceptible to COVID, while those with type O blood were less so.

But a review of nearly 108,000 patients in a three-state health network found no link between blood type and COVID risk.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, associations between blood type and susceptibility to disease have been postulated,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, principal investigator at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

“From this large study, it appears that there is no association between blood type and susceptibility or severity, and there are likely other explanations,” added Adalja, who was not involved in the study.

An initial report from China suggested that blood type could influence COVID risk. Later studies from Italy and Spain backed that up, the researchers said in background notes.

However, other studies from Denmark and the United States offered mixed and contradictory results.

To set the record straight, researchers led by Dr. Jeffrey Anderson of the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah, analyzed data from tens of thousands of patients with Intermountain Healthcare, a nonprofit health system of 24 hospitals and 215 clinics in Utah, Idaho. and Nevada.

Of those in the analysis, nearly 11,500 tested positive for coronavirus, while the rest tested negative.

Blood type did not play a significant role in someone’s risk of contracting COVID, researchers reported April 5 in JAMA network open.

“I’ve always said all this with blood types is a lot of fuss over nothing,” said Dr. Aaron Glatt, chair of the department of medicine and epidemiologist at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, NY “It was never a significant problem. enough for people to panic if they have one blood type or calm down if they have another blood type. It never made any practical difference. “

Glatt was not involved in the new investigation.

He said findings from previous studies show why correlation is not the same as causation; In other words, why showing that two things are statistically linked is not the same as proving that one caused the other.

“If you look at enough things, you will find some random incidental findings that may or may not have some meaning,” Glatt said. “Some people looked at so many different variables and one of them was blood type. They saw that some people fared worse with a certain blood type, but the studies were conflicting, which makes sense if it’s random.”

Glatt concluded: “This puts an end to all this, but it never should have been.”

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More information:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about risk factors for COVID-19.

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