Previous research demonstrated a link between blood types and certain health conditions. With this information, researchers started assessing a person’s risk and severity of COVID-19 infection based on blood types. Experts agree that people with blood type O may have a reduced risk of COVID-19, while people with blood type A have a higher risk.
Preliminary results from a study in China, which examined 2,173 people with COVID-19, identified a link between contraction and blood type. People with blood type O had a lower risk of contraction, and people with blood type A or AB had a higher risk. An April 2020 study conducted by Columbia University had similar results to the Chinese study. People with blood type A were 33% more likely to contract COVID-19 than people with blood type O.
The Four Main Blood Groups
Blood Group A
This group has A antigens on red blood cells that have anti-B antibodies in plasma.
Blood Group B
This group has B antigens and anti-A antibodies in plasma.
Blood Group AB
This group has both A and B antigens without antibodies in plasma.
Blood Group O
This group has no antigens, but it has both anti-A and anti-B antibodies in plasma.
Certain antibody tests revealed that people with blood type O had an easier time fighting off the SARS virus, when compared to people with blood type A. Experts believe that this was attributed to the presence of anti-A and anti-B antibodies in people with blood type O. In fact, a Hong Kong hospital stated that people with anti-A antibodies inhibited and occasionally blocked the virus form attaching to a host cell.
What Makes Blood Types Unique?
According to Nicholas Tatonetti, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical informatics at Columbia Initiative for Systems Biology, different blood types present different features. For instance, different blood types posses certain proteins that influence blood circulation. It is also possible that people who share your blood type have something in common that increases or decreases your risk of contracting a virus. Unfortunately, experts haven’t pinpointed what that shared common factor is.
Should You Worry If You Have Blood Type A?
First and foremost, all of the aforementioned research is strictly preliminary, and not all of it is specific to coronavirus. No tests demonstrate that people with blood type O are 100% protected against coronavirus, and no tests reveal that people with blood type A are 100% susceptible. Many other factors, including underlying health conditions, physical condition, sleep schedules, and diet, contribute to protection and susceptibility rates. These studies simply open new doors that can enhance medical research for future diseases, viruses, or illnesses.
People with blood type A do not need to panic, and people with blood type O shouldn’t relax. You should enforce social distancing, regular hand washing, and wear facial coverings when out in public, no matter what blood type you are. The guidelines presented by health authorities are for everyone, not just people with certain blood types.
How Do You Find Out Your Blood Type?
If you don’t know your blood type, there’s no reason to feel ashamed. Many people are unaware of their blood type. You can ask your doctor about your blood type, but he/she will only be able to give you that information if a sample of your blood was taken and tested. You can go get a blood test or contact your local blood bank to see what your options are.
Health experts, infectious disease specialists, and scientists continue to learn more about the coronavirus every day. With studies like these, experts hope to understand the biology of COVID-19. Finally, wash your hands, keep a physical distance from others, and follow public health guidelines to stay safe.