Blood Type and COVID-19

Angie SzumlinskiCase Study, Studies

Research into COVID-19 continues at a blistering pace and one issue that has captured the attention of the popular media is the potential interaction between blood type and the risk for COVID-19. There is precedent for blood type playing a role in infection however a multi-facility study published by Medscape has found no correlation between blood type and inflammatory markers but did find people with type O had a significantly lower chance of testing positive.

Highlights from the study:

  • The study retrospectively reviewed cases of COVID-19 among adults at age ≥ 18 years who were tested at 1 of 5 major hospitals in Massachusetts. The study period was from March 6 to April 16.
  • Researchers assessed the study cohort for a broad range of chronic comorbid illnesses as well as medication use. They also recorded laboratory values from admitted patients.
  • The main study outcome was the relationship between blood type and the composite outcome of intubation or death. The study analysis was adjusted to account for demographic and disease data.
  • 7,648 symptomatic adults received COVID-19 testing during the study period and 1,289 tests were both positive and also included information on blood type. The mean age of the study participants was 56.6 ± 18.68 years and the majority (  ̴ 67%) were female. Black adults comprised > 20% of the study population, and Hispanic adults represented > 10% of the cohort.
  • 37.5% of patients were admitted to the hospital and 9.5% entered the intensive care unit; 8.4% of patients were intubated and 6.9% died.
  • The distribution of blood types among patients with a positive test for COVID-19 was as follows:
    • A – 34.1%
    • B – 15.6%
    • AB – 4.7%
    • O – 45.5%
  • Blood type was not significantly associated with inflammatory markers such as white blood cell count, lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein, or erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
  • Blood type also did not affect the risk for any clinical outcomes, including hospitalization, intubation, or death.

I just love the research, some of the language is beyond my understanding but it is great that these types of research projects are happening! Imagine a world with no research? We might be in a pandemic for centuries! To read more on the study, click the link below. Stay the course, stay strong, stay safe, mask up, and stay tuned!