Certain blood groups may be more or less vulnerable to covid, KNOWS

Source: Men’s Health

The blood group does not affect our daily life much. In fact, most people don’t even know if they’re type A, B, AB, or O. But the seemingly mundane detail could be a factor in determining who’s under the thumb of the world tyrant of 2020, that’s i.e. the coronavirus.

People with type O blood might be slightly more protected against the virus and people with type A slightly more vulnerable.

A new study in the journal PLOS Genetics has found that people with type A blood are more likely to have a severe case of Covid-19.

A previous study in the 2020 journal Blood Advances also confirmed this research, adding that people with type O blood appear to be more protected against Covid-19.

Researchers in China first shared this idea in March 2020, and the findings were picked up by a Columbia University paper a month later. Even DNA testing company 23andMe reached out to its customers and found that among 750,000 people (by far the largest population studied to date) who have been diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19, those with type O were more protected.

Then a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine backed up the idea with a peer-reviewed study: People with type A blood were 45% more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than those with blood type A. other blood types, while those with type O were 35% less likely.

“It’s pretty clear that type O is protective to some extent. I don’t think type A or type B is the problem, it’s just that they don’t have type O,” says Mark Udden, MD, professor of hematology. and oncology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Are people with type A blood more likely to die from COVID-19?

So people with type A may be more likely to get the virus, but it’s still unclear if they also make it worse: the NEJM study reports that people with type A blood were also more likely to get the virus. have respiratory failure.

However, research from Columbia University found there was no real difference between intubations or death and different blood types. And a 2020 study in the Annals of Hematology looked specifically at the link between blood types and the need for intubation or death in confirmed COVID-19 patients. They found no link between blood type and disease severity. The new research in Blood Advances, mentioned above, came up with similar results. Although true to the endless questions around the disease, another smaller study, also in Blood Advances, suggested that blood types A or AB were at higher risk for certain intense procedures and longer stays in intensive care, but the researchers themselves considered the link to be so far “unresolved”.

How is type O different?

We don’t know why people with type O might be more protected, but there are many theories.

The most fundamental idea is that blood type might influence a person’s ability to fight off the virus, says David Aronoff, MD, director of the division of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. This can affect the strength of your immune system or your inflammatory response to infection.

Either way, this would not only determine the likelihood of you contracting the virus, but also the strength of your symptoms, he explains.

The NEJM article, however, highlights the antibodies we produce based on blood type. “If you’re type O, you naturally make antibodies against type A and type B,” says Dr. Udden. These type A antibodies could make it harder for SARS-CoV-2 to attach to its type O blood receptor and multiply in the body, he explains.

But there’s another interesting layer to a potential protective element in type O blood: something called von Willebrand factor, which is a glycoprotein responsible for repairing damage to blood vessels by tricking your blood into clotting.

We know that the COVID-19 virus damages the lining of your blood vessels. Your body then releases von Willebrand factor, or VWF, into your blood so that it can repair damage to vessel walls. But VWF also encourages clotting.

“In COVID-19 patients who die, we see unusually high clotting issues, like strokes, kidney failure, and pulmonary embolisms. So we know there is a clotting issue that stems from the virus,” explains Dr. Udden.

A 2020 analysis in The Lancet found that compared to COVID-19 patients who were not in intensive care, those who were critically ill in intensive care and died had higher VWF antigens in their blood.

And guess what: People with type A blood naturally have higher levels of VWF than people with type O blood, Dr. Udden points out. Additionally, black people, who die at a disproportionately high rate from COVID-19, also tend to have higher levels of VWF.

So if I’m O, am I safe from coronavirus?

Just because you’re type O doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. So far, all studies have only looked at blood type in relation to symptomatic coronavirus cases, Dr. Aronoff points out.

We don’t know about asymptomatic carriers, meaning type O could still pass the virus on to other people unknowingly, just as much as type A.

“There are two possibilities: you are type O, you may not get the virus because it has no airstrip – there is nothing to attach to,” says Dr. Udden. “Or being type O, the virus gets in but the A antibody prevents it from attaching to enough cells to cause disease. But the virus is still in your system and you can still pass it on to someone. else.”

Is blood type the main risk factor?

No. Blood type is actually a pretty weak player, Dr. Udden says.

Socio-economic status is a big vulnerability – likely to have to work outside the home, in crowded buildings and live in tighter quarters with more family members.

Age and health are the next susceptibility factors. If you are older or have an underlying condition such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease, you are more likely to develop a severe case of coronavirus, adds Dr Udden.

Blood type is after all that.

The bottom line on blood type and the risk of COVID-19

People with type O blood might be slightly more protected against the virus and people with type A slightly more vulnerable. But, as far as we know, everyone is still at risk of contracting the virus, and certainly at risk of being an asymptomatic carrier – and therefore passing it on to others.

Finding the protective effect of type O is crucial to understanding how the virus works, especially since it doesn’t follow many other patterns, Dr Udden points out.

But both docs agree that it shouldn’t change anyone’s behavior.

“I’m type O, and I’m not going to hang out in bars just because of this slight protective effect,” says Dr. Udden.

“These findings should not change your behavior. Anyone can still get sick with SARS-CoV-2 and/or participate in the chain of transmission,” adds Dr. Aronoff.

The bottom line is clear: the safest and most effective way to avoid contracting the coronavirus or unknowingly passing it on to others is to continue to wear a mask, get vaccinated, and stay away. socially people, regardless of your blood type.