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Almost half of Britons are less likely to catch Covid-19 because they have Type O blood


According to new research, people with blood type O are less likely to get Covid-19.

The risk of serious complications like organ failure – and even death – is also lower, according to scientists.

Danish researchers used data from 473,000 people tested for Covid-19 against a control group of more than 2.2 million people from the general population.

Among those who tested positive for the virus, they found fewer people with blood type O and more people with A, B, and AB types.

Findings from a second study also suggest that people with blood types A and AB, who together make up just under 45 percent of the UK and US population, are at greater risk for severe symptoms and complications – such as the need for ventilation. than as those with type O or B.

The results build on a growing body of research suggesting a link between blood type and coronavirus risk, as well as the apparent protective effect of blood group O. About half of the people in the UK and the US have O blood type.

People with severe coronavirus and genes that code for type A blood are 50% more likely to need oxygen or ventilation support than people with other blood types (archive image of coronavirus in blood).

The lead author of the first study, Dr. Torben Barington of Odense University Hospital said, "It is very important to consider the correct control group as the prevalence of the blood type can vary significantly across races and countries."

His team tested 196,252 people with blood type O and 277,402 people with blood type A, B, or AB.

While 38 percent of people who tested positive for Covid-19 had type O blood, 62 percent had type A, B, or AB blood.

The majority of people in the latter group (202,507) had blood type A, far fewer had blood type B (53,735) or AB (21,160).

Infection rates in these last three groups were similar at around 1.6 percent, compared to 1.4 percent in patients with blood type O.

The trends remained unchanged after the researchers considered ethnicity, which affects the distribution of blood types.

What have some studies on blood type and Covid-19 shown?

When? March

By whom? Chinese scientists from several institutions

What have scientists studied?

2,173 people diagnosed with coroanvirus, including 205 people who died after contracting the virus, from three hospitals in Hubei.

Scientists compared the data on infected Wuhan patients with 3,694 uninfected people in the same region.

What did you find?

That people with type A blood are significantly more likely to get coronavirus than people with type O blood.

They also found that people with type A blood were more likely to die from Covid-19.

What were the limits of the study?

The researchers indicated that a larger study group would make the numbers more reliable.

The results didn't explain either the mechanisms that show whether a person with blood type A is more prone to Covid-19 disease.

When? June

By whom? US-based genetic testing company 23AndMe

What have scientists studied?

750,000 participants, including 10,000 people who said they had Covid-19.

The researchers identified a variant of the ABO gene that is responsible for different blood groups and was associated with a lower risk.

What did you find? A certain blood group can protect you against coronaviruses.

People with Type O blood were up to 18 percent less likely to test positive for Covid-19.

About 1.3 percent of 23andMe research participants with Type O blood tested positive for COVID-19.

For comparison, it was confirmed that 1.4 percent of those with type A blood and 1.5 percent of those with type B or AB blood have the virus.

What were the limits of the study?

At the time of publication, the results had not been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal.

When? June

By whom? S.Scientists in Italy, Spain, Denmark, Germany and other countries

What have scientists studied? Analyzed the genetics of Covid-19 patients.

They compared about 2,000 patients with severe COVID-19 to several thousand other people who were healthy or who had mild or no symptoms.

The researchers linked variations in six genes to the likelihood of serious illness, including some that could play a role in how susceptible people are to the virus. They also tied blood types to a possible risk.

What did you find? Patients with type A blood were more likely to develop serious illness and those with type O blood were less likely.

What were the limits of the study?

A small sample size and the caution of other scientists.

One, Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in San Diego, said the evidence of a role for blood type is "preliminary … not enough to be certain".

When? June

By whom? University of Kiel in Germany

What have scientists studied?

DNA samples from Italian and Spanish patients who suffered respiratory failure after contracting coronavirus.

They sequenced the genome of 1,610 patients from seven severely affected cities in both countries.

They looked for patterns in these genomes, common themes in genetic variation that could provide a DNA basis for these patients' predisposition to become life-threatening illnesses.

By comparing these genomes with those of 2,205 people who did not become seriously ill, the researchers examined two points along the genome.

The more notable of the two gene regions they identified was one that codes for people's blood types.

What did you find?

The gene variant underlying type A blood was far more common in seriously ill COVID-19 patients.

People with Type A blood were 50 percent more likely to have been so sick that they needed oxygen assistance or even a ventilator.

Type O blood, on the other hand, was associated with a lower likelihood of serious illness.

What were the limits of the study?

Small sample size.

Researchers still don't know exactly what would make someone more susceptible to coronavirus with this variant of the gene that leads to type A blood.

A slightly higher proportion of blacks (51 percent) have blood type O than the white population.

The authors concluded that "blood group O is significantly associated with a reduced susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infections".

A second study with 95 critically ill Covid-19 patients in the hospital in Vancouver found that blood groups A and AB had a higher risk of severe symptoms than patients with O or B.

They were more likely to need mechanical ventilation, suggesting they had a higher rate of lung injury from the virus and dialysis for kidney failure.

While 61 percent of people with blood group O or B needed mechanical ventilation, 84 percent of people with blood group A or AB required life-saving treatment.

This suggests that these two blood groups have an increased risk of organ dysfunction or failure due to Covid-19.

While people with blood groups A and AB did not have long hospital stays overall, those who were admitted to the intensive care unit spent longer in the units than people with other blood groups.

This could also indicate a higher severity of Covid-19, said the Canadian team.

The lead author Dr. Mypinder Sekhon of the University of British Columbia said, “The unique part of our study is our focus on blood type severity for Covid-19.

& # 39; We have observed this lung and kidney damage and will want to investigate the effects of blood groups and Covid-19 on other vital organs in future studies.

"Of particular importance as we continue to traverse the pandemic, we now have a wide range of survivors exiting the acute portion of Covid-19. However, we need to examine mechanisms by which we can risk stratify those with longer-term effects."

As the pandemic continues, the global biomedical research community is working urgently to identify risk factors and potential therapeutic targets.

The possible role of blood type in predicting infection has emerged as an important scientific question.

Articles published in Blood Advances supplement evidence of a connection.

There are four main blood groups – A, B, AB, and O.

The difference in blood types depends on buildup on red blood cells called antigens.

The presence or absence of these molecules will determine which blood type a person has.

Antigens can let the virus into the body and blood group O has no antigens, whereas all other blood groups do.

The second most common blood type in the UK is A, which makes up just under 40 percent of the UK population.

Groups B (around 10 percent of the population) and AB (three percent) are much rarer.

Professor Mypinder S. Sekhon, the author of the second study, said, “The unique part of our study is our focus on blood type severity for Covid-19.

& # 39; We have observed this lung and kidney damage and will want to investigate the effects of blood groups and Covid-19 on other vital organs in future studies.

"Of particular importance as we continue to traverse the pandemic, we now have a wide range of survivors exiting the acute portion of Covid-19. However, we need to examine mechanisms by which we can risk stratify those with longer-term effects."

Earlier this year, a study of more than 2,000 coronavirus patients in China found that of the 206 people who died, 85 had blood type A – that's 41 percent of all deaths.

They were also shown to be more prone to infection and tended to develop more severe symptoms. People with blood group O had a "significantly lower risk" of developing the disease.

The Chinese team urged health professionals and governments to consider blood type differences when treating patients with the virus and prevent the disease from spreading.

It is still recommended that you wash your hands and follow the guidelines issued by the authorities – regardless of your blood type.

And in June, researchers at genetic testing company 23andMe found that people with type O blood were up to 18 percent less likely to test positive for Covid-19.

In addition, those with blood type and exposure were up to 26 percent less likely to contract coronavirus.

Previous research, commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and carried out by scientists from Manchester University, has shown that blacks are almost twice as likely to die from Covid-19 as whites.

However, experts believe that Covid-19 will affect BAME communities harder, as ethnic minorities are more likely to be poorer and therefore in poorer health and more likely to work in publicly available professions, making them vulnerable to disease.

Public Health England, which found a similar risk of death for BAME people in a long-awaited report released in June, warned of historical racism and hostility towards immigrants was partly to blame.

Dr. David Valle, director of the Institute of Genetic Medicine at John Hopkins University, previously said that blood type has historically been linked to susceptibility to diseases such as cholera and recurrent urinary tract infections caused by E. coli.

The blood type has been linked in the past to an increased susceptibility to disease.

A 1977 study found that people with blood type O were actually more likely to be infected with cholera.

And the authors of a 1993 study suggested that people with Type O blood were more likely to be infected with Helicobacter pylori bacteria, causing stomach problems and ulcers.

BAME BRITONS & # 39; HAVE COVID-19 FOUR TIMES & # 39;

Black and Asian Brits have already fought the coronavirus up to four times more likely, as official data suggested in the summer.

A government surveillance program that tested 36,000 people across England found that 4.5 percent of whites had developed antibodies – substances made by the immune system in response to certain pathogens.

In comparison, the rate for Asian Brits was 12.2 percent, for blacks 7.7 percent and for other ethnic groups 16.7 percent, according to the report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The results of swab tests that show whether someone is currently infected, rather than whether they have been infected in the past, showed a similar ethnicity discrepancy. Between 0.64 and 0.69 percent of blacks and Asians have ever tested positive for the coronavirus.

Only 0.30 percent of whites swabbed between April 26 and June 27 tested positive for the disease.

The results also showed that the risk for people of other ethnic groups, including Arabs, was nine times higher (2.69 percent).

Statisticians warned that the results do not show with certainty that people with a BAME background are at higher risk of infection.

But they add to the mountain of evidence showing that people with a BAME background are more likely to catch Covid-19 and become seriously ill or die from it than whites.

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