Can Blood Type Influence Your COVID-19 Risk? A New Research Indicates It’s Possible
The preliminary results from the genetic study “suggest that O blood type appears to be protective”
A recent study indicates that there could be a potential link between a person’s blood type and COVID-19 risk. Preliminary data from 23andMe’s ongoing genetic study of COVID-19 appears to lend more evidence to this theory. In a blog post shared by the company, the preliminary results from the genetic study which has more than 750,000 participants “suggest that O blood type appears to be protective”. As per the study, people with type O blood were up to 18% less likely to test positive for COVID-19 than other blood types. Even accommodating factors like age, sex, body mass index, ethnicity, and other health conditions, the tests still presented a significant difference. However, the study has not been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal yet.
It is not a certainty at this point in time if the two are indeed correlated. In addition, one should understand that correlation does not equal causation. “Just because two things are linked does not mean that one causes the other,” Dr. Schaffner says. “They may just be linked coincidentally and there’s something else going on that needs to be investigated.”
This simply means that even if researchers prove for a fact that people with type O blood have lower susceptibility to COVID-19, it doesn’t make them 100% immune from contracting the virus.
“It’s not that you’re impervious to infection, it’s that you might have more resistance to infection,” Dr. Adalja says, adding that you would still likely have some risk.
Right now, all of these findings are preliminary, so it’s difficult to draw any concrete conclusions.