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Do Certain Blood Types Offer Greater Protection Against COVID-19?

How your blood type may be an indicator of COVID-19 severity

Recent rampant studies regarding COVID-19 suggest that the disease more closely mirrors a vascular infection rather than a respiratory one, as originally thought. An impairment in blood circulation seems to be the common denominator in COVID-19 symptoms, where 40% of deaths from the virus are related to cardiovascular complications. Consequently, extensive research regarding the effects of having certain blood types on COVID-19 risks and outcomes has emerged. Many studies from Europe and China indicate that those with type O blood may be protected from COVID-19 infection, whereas those with type A blood may be at a higher risk.

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Why Knowing Your Blood Type Is Important

A person’s blood type is determined by the presence or absence of specific antigens—A and B— which are molecules on red blood cells that trigger an immune response. A person with Type A blood has the A antigen on red cells and a B antibody in their plasma; a person with Type B has the B antigen on red cells and A antibodies in their plasma. Individuals with Type AB have both A and B antigens on their red cells, but neither antibody in their plasma, and those with Type O have neither A nor B antigens on their red cells, but both antibodies are present in their plasma.

A team of European researchers found that people with type O blood had a 35% decreased risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness, while people with type A blood had a 45% increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing respiratory failure, when compared to those with other blood types.

Although the reasoning behind these trends are not exactly clear, having both of the circulating A and B antibodies modifies the immune response and is a possible explanation for why people with Type O blood may be more equipped to identify foreign proteins, including those on the surface of COVID-19. Another explanation is that perhaps the genes associated with blood type also have some effect on the ACE2 receptor, the protein that allows the SARS-CoV-2 virus to infect human cells.

Another study suggests that it may matter more whether people are Rh+ or Rh-, where those who are Rh- seeming to have less severe responses after contracting COVID-19.

How to Find Out Your Blood Type

The most reliable way to find out your blood type is by a getting a blood drawing at a clinic or doctor’s office. At Fusion Medical Care, we are partnered with specialty labs that can detect blood type, among other things related to your health.

We also offer same-day blood tests that detect COVID-19 antibodies, assessing whether you were previously infected with the virus and providing a glimpse into your immunity toward it.

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Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Fusion Medical Care providers, and the experts who have contributed. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.