NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Could your blood type predict how sick you might get if you contract the coronavirus?
That’s the suggestion of a pair of new studies on COVID-19 patients, CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported Thursday.
Let’s start out with this: do you even know your blood type? And even if you do, is there anything you can do about it? Not without a bone marrow transplant or some other serious health issue. So what can we learn from these COVID blood type studies?
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The studies come from the medical journal Blood Advances. The Danish study analyzed data from almost half a million people tested for the virus and found that people with blood type “O” had significantly reduced susceptibility to coronavirus infection.
A separate Canadian study of 95 hospitalized COVID patients showed that those with blood type “A” or “A-B” typically had a longer stay in the ICU and were more likely to need a ventilator and kidney dialysis than patients with type “O” or “B.”
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But what does this mean?
“This doesn’t mean that if you’re blood group O you don’t have a risk of severe outcomes from covid, nor does it mean that if your blood group A you’re doomed,” said Dr. Catherine Diefenbach of NYU Langone Health.
Diefenbach, the director of the lymphoma service at NYU’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, says that blood types had little effect on other important outcomes.
“The level of inflammatory cytokines that patients had in their blood was not different based on A-B-O blood type. Mortality or dying once you are on the ventilator was also not impacted by A-B-O blood type,” she said.
Since you can’t change your blood type, Diefenbach says the more important risk factors are underlying health issues, like heart disease, diabetes and obesity, among others. The bottom line is we all still need to wear a mask.
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