In a new study, researchers found that people who have type O blood are slightly less likely to get COVID-19.
The research was conducted by Representatives with 23andMe, a direct-to-consumer genetic testing service.
Previously, the team had found that nearly 60% of genetic variants in humans could be linked to susceptibility to one of 17 types of infectious diseases.
In the study, the team wanted to know why different people have such wildly different symptoms when infected with the COVID-19 virus.
They wondered if there might be a genetic component in the story.
To learn more, the team carried out a study that involved surveying customers regarding their experiences with COVID-19. They received surveys back from approximately 750,000 customers.
Analysis of that data showed that people with type O blood were between 9% and 18% less likely to test positive for the COVID-19 virus than people with other blood types.
Their findings held when adjusted for sex, body mass, and age. The team also says that they did not find any other blood-type-related differences.
In addition, among those exposed to the virus — healthcare and other front line workers — the team found that blood type O is similarly protective.
The results suggest that O blood type appears to be protective against the virus when compared to all other blood types.
Previous studies showed that heart disease and blood clotting may also play a role in COVID-19 severity and also hint the role of a genetic component in the pandemic.
The study can be found here.
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