These 2 blood types linked to lower risk of severe COVID-19

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In a new study, researchers found that type O and rhesus-negative (Rh−) blood groups seem to be linked to a lower risk for severe COVID-19 infection.

The research was conducted by a team from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

In the study, the team did a population-based study to examine whether ABO and Rh blood groups are linked to SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19 illness.

They used data from 225,556 people (mean age, 54 years) with ABO blood group assessed between January 2007 and December 2019.

The researchers found that the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection was lower for blood group O than the A, AB, and B blood groups together.

Rh− blood type was also linked to a reduced risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection, especially for those who were O-negative.

The risk for severe COVID-19 illness or death was lower in association with the type O blood group versus all others and for Rh− versus Rh-positive.

The team says at most, a small proportion of COVID-19 infection or related illness in the entire population could be prevented by some undetermined property conferred by O blood type and, perhaps, further enhanced by Rh− status.

Whether this information can influence COVID-19 prevention or treatment strategies remains to be determined in future work.

One author of the study is Joel G. Ray, M.D.

The study is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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