Type ‘O’ or Type ‘A': Your blood type could play a role in how sick you get from COVID-19

New study shows blood type could play role in severity of COVID-19 infection

PITTSBURGH — Depending on what blood type you have, you may be more severely affected by COVID-19 according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. A local infectious disease doctor reviewed the study and said there could be some truth to the claims.

If you have ‘O' type blood, the study said you have a 50% less chance of a severe reaction to the virus. If you have type ‘A' blood, you have a 50% greater risk of needing oxygen support.

“It’s not surprising in the sense of we know that everyone’s susceptibility to an infectious disease has some element that is driven by their genetics, whether it is blood type or other genetic markers,” infectious disease expert Dr. Amesh Adalja said.

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Adalja said the theory had been around since the virus emerged.

“We have seen this early on in China where, for example, people with ‘O' blood type were less represented among severe cases or cases at all. So this does make a lot of sense,” he said. “We don’t understand what type ‘O' is protective and we don’t understand why type ‘A' is not protective. I think it is too early to determine what it might be. We are really just at the dawn of understanding this research.”

The study included almost 2,000 patients who were undergoing COVID-19 treatments in Spain and Italy.

Nearly half of new COVID-19 cases in all of Pa. are in Allegheny County