COVID-19 is caused by a previously unknown strain of coronavirus, which is why it is so difficult for scientists to understand the complexities of the disease. But from the beginning, we have seen that the elderly and those with underlying health conditions are at a greater risk of severe complications and even death.
Children show mild symptoms and young adults fare much better in comparison. Now a new, preliminary study says that there may be a correlation between blood type and the likelihood of being hospitalized with COVID-19.
According to researchers, people with type A blood might be more at risk of hospitalisation than those with other blood types. This study from the Southern University of Science and Technology, in Shenzhen, China, have not yet been assessed on the basis of the researchers’ methodology and findings.
People With Blood Group A At Risk Of Complications, Say Experts
To arrive at this conclusion, researchers of the above-mentioned study looked at blood group distribution among 2,173 individuals admitted to hospitals with COVID-19.
All the patients were from one of three hospitals in Wuhan, China and Shenzhen. Researchers then compared the patients’ blood group distribution to that of a group representative of the general population, totaling 3,694 people, in Wuhan.
They saw that people with type A blood was significantly higher among the group hospitalized with COVID-19 than among the general population.
If You Have O Blood Group, You May Escape Hospitalisation
Another interesting finding was that people with type O blood was significantly lower among the group with COVID-19 than among the general population.
Hence, researchers came to the conclusion that ‘people with blood group A have a significantly higher risk for acquiring COVID-19, compared with non-A blood groups, whereas blood group O has a significantly lower risk for the infection, compared with non-O blood group’.
The study, however, does not shed light on whether the risk of infection is higher or lower in certain blood groups. All it does is refer to the risk of hospitalization because of COVID-19.
One reason for this may be the fat that researchers only looked at data from individuals whose symptoms were severe enough to require hospitalization.
A Word Of Caution
If you have O blood group, hold on for a moment before you rejoice. Similarly, there is no need for people with blood group A to go into despair. Experts who disagree with the findings of this study say that ‘without establishing causal links between COVID-19 and ABO blood group antigens, it’s difficult to understand this conclusion, which might be purely coincidental’.
Moreover, the prevalence of a certain blood group in a particular area also matters. But researchers did not look into this.
However, everybody agrees that if there is validation of the findings of this study, it will help the medical fraternity to identify people most at risk of requiring hospitalization due to infection with the new virus.
This will lead to the formulation of better preventive guidelines. But it is still too early to act on the results of this study say many experts.