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Study: Blood types and Covid-19

Published Nov 17, 2020


CAPE TOWN - As recent evidence suggests that blood types may affect the risk of severe Covid-19 outcomes, researchers looked to assess the association between various blood types with infection, intubation and deaths.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues with infections rising throughout the world, identifying those most at risk has become a priority in order to help contain and treat the novel virus, but just as importantly, to relieve the strain on healthcare facilities around the globe.

A study, recently published in the journal Nature Communications, analysed observational healthcare data on 14 122 Covid-19 patients with know blood types in the New York Presbyterian (NYP) hospital system but found "modest but consistent risk differences between blood types," write the lead authors of the study.

The researchers estimated a larger risk difference between ABO blood types and Rh with individuals with Rh-negative blood type at a lower risk of infection, intubation (mechanical ventilation assitance) and death from Covid-19.

"Type A had lower risk of intubation and death compared with types AB and O. Only type B had inconsistent effects between intubation and death—type B increased risk of intubation and decreased risk of death compared to type O," it said in the study report. "We also found consistent evidence for protective associations between Rh-negative blood groups and SARS-CoV-2 infection, intubation, death."

The researchers found that blood types A and B showed greater chances of an initial positive test compare to blood types O with the rares of blood types, AB, showing a small decrease in chances by o.2 percent.

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