Preliminary research suggests blood type may play a role in susceptibility to COVID-19

Updated: Apr. 14, 2020 at 5:53 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A study out of China suggests a possible link between a person’s blood type and their likelihood of contracting COVID-19.

The study tested more than 2,000 patients who have or had the coronavirus in three different hospitals in China. It found that people with blood type A may be more likely to contract COVID-19 and have complications. In addition, the study found patients with type O Blood to be less susceptible to the coronavirus.

Despite the findings, Novant Health Family Practitioner Dr. Genevieve Brauning says it is too soon to be of any use due to the small sample size, only hospitals in China were involved, and the study did not take into account underlying conditions.

“It’s clear that this is very preliminary, and we have to be cautious always with extrapolating this type of data and applying it to our own patients,” Dr. Brauning said. “It’s interesting information that we can look into further, but we just can’t apply it yet.”

If more research is conducted to support the claims, Dr. Brauning says it could be helpful in the treatment of coronavirus.

“We may be more aggressive early on in the illness with using a medical treatment, or checking on patients more frequently in that period of time, we may advise patients who are at increased risk to have precautions the same we are advising people with other medical conditions right now to use extra precautions,” Dr. Brauning said.

But until the study is backed up with more research, Dr. Brauning says it shouldn’t give patients a false sense of fear or security based on their blood type.

“I don’t want people with type O blood to have false reassurance that they don’t have risk, because even if it is slightly less—there is still risk no matter what blood type,” Dr. Brauning said.

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