For more international health news, listen to Jeremy Kenton’s Medical Minutes show between 3pm-4pm every Thursday on BayRadio.
People with blood type O may be at less risk of serious COVID-19 complications, according to two studies published Wednesday.
A Danish study found that among 7,422 people who tested positive for COVID-19, only 38.4% were blood type O – despite 41.7% of the population having this blood type.
By contrast, 44.4% of people with blood type A tested positive, while in the Danish population the blood type makes up 42.4%.
In the other study, in Canada, researchers found that 84% of critically-ill blood-type A or AB patients required mechanical ventilation.
Meanwhile, 61% of patients with blood group O or B needed ventilation.
The Canadian study also found those with blood type A or AB had a longer stay in the intensive care unit, a median of 13.5 days, compared with those with blood group O or B, who had a median of nine days.
“I don’t think this supersedes other risk factors of severity like age and co-morbities and so forth,” said Dr. Mypinder Sekhon, a clinical assistant professor in the Division of Critical Care Medicine and Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.
“If one is blood group A, you don’t need to start panicking. And if you’re blood group O, you’re not free to go to the pubs and bars.”
The reasons for this link are not yet clear – more research is needed to say what implications blood type has.