Some types of blood may limit the risk of COVID-19, others may hurt, study suggests

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A team of scientists to conduct genetic analysis of coronavirus patients has found that having a certain type of blood can have an impact on the risk of developing the disease, according to a study on Wednesday.

The study, which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, compared the genes of thousands of patients in Europe and found that those with Type A blood were more likely to go down to serious illness. Those with Type O blood were less likely.

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A healthcare worker draws blood for COVID-19 antibody test in Dearborn, Mich on June 12, 2020. A genetic analysis of COVID-19 patients published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests a person’s blood group may have some influence on the decision that they develop a serious illness. (AP Photo / Paul Sancya, File)

The research comes after a similar study from China, published in March found that those with O Blood Type may be more resistant to the crisis of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – while those with Type A blood may be at higher risk.

“Most of us discounted because it was a very crude study,” Dr. Parameswar Hari, a blood test specialist at the Wisconsin Medical College, said of China’s report. As a result of the new study, he said, “Now I think it is,” adding that “It could be very important. ”

The recent study, which included scientists in Italy, Spain, Denmark, Germany, and other countries, compared to 1980 patients with severe COVID-19 to several thousand other people who were otherwise in good health or even mild or no symptoms. Researchers attached variations in the six genes for the likelihood of serious illness, while also tying up blood from potential risk groups.

Hari said that Type O people are better able to recognize certain proteins as abroad, which can spread to all proteins in the surface virus. During the epidemic of SARS – essentially a genetic cousin of the new coronavirus – “it was noted that people with O blood type were less likely to contract a serious illness,” he added.

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Critics did caution caution due to certain factors, including the way in which a limited number of patients were presented in the most recent study.

In comparison, 23andMe released a study that featured 750,000 participants earlier this month after using its testing services to help scientists better understand how genetics can play a role in why some people contract it. new coronavirus.

Still, the largest study found that O’s blood type was between 9 and 18 percent less likely to test positive for COVID-19 when compared to other blood types, which echoes the most recent European study.

There are four main types of blood – A, B, AB and O – and “that it is determined by proteins on the surface of your red blood cells,” said Dr. Mary Horowitz, chief scientist at the International Blood Center and Research Bone Marrow.

Blood type has also been linked to susceptibility to certain other infectious diseases like cholera, urinary tract infections with E. coli, and a bug called H. pylori which can cause ulcers and stomach cancer , said Dr. David Valle, director of the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University.

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Bottom line: “This is a provocative study. It is in my opinion very useful to publish and get out of here ”, but it needs verification in addition to patients, Valle said.

Fox News Madeline Farber and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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