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Blood Type Not Linked to Progression to Severe COVID-19

Blood type not linked to risk for intubation, death; odds of testing positive higher for type B, AB

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TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For COVID-19 patients, blood type is not associated with the risk for progression to severe disease, according to a study published online July 12 in the Annals of Hematology.

Christopher A. Latz, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a multi-institutional study involving adults who tested positive for COVID-19 across five hospitals from March 6 to April 16, 2020. Data were included from 7,648 patients; blood-type information was known for 1,289 (34.2, 15.6, 4.7, and 45.5 percent were blood type A, B, AB, and O, respectively).

The researchers found that 37.5 percent of patients were hospitalized, and 9.5, 8.4, and 0.2 percent were admitted to the intensive care unit, were intubated, and required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, respectively; 6.9 percent of the patients died. There was no association noted between blood type and any of the peak inflammatory markers on univariate analysis or between blood type and any of the clinical outcomes of severity. Blood type was not independently associated with the risk for intubation or death after a multivariable analysis. There was no correlation for blood type A with positive testing; blood type B and AB correlated with increased odds of testing positive for disease (adjusted odds ratios, 1.28 and 1.37, respectively), while type O was associated with a reduced risk for testing positive (adjusted odds ratio, 0.84).

"This evidence should help put to rest previous reports of a possible association between blood type A and a higher risk for COVID-19 infection and mortality," a coauthor said in a statement.

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