(NEXSTAR) – Two new studies suggest a link between people with type O blood and a reduced chance of contracting COVID-19, as well as milder symptoms for those who do.
It is still unclear what is causing the statistical connection found in two studies published Wednesday, one in Denmark and one in Canada, and experts say more research is needed, according to CNN.
The Danish study found that people with type O blood made up only 38.4% of the 7,422 Danes who tested positive, despite people in that blood group making up 41
People with type A blood, however, accounted for 44.4 percent of infected patients, the study found, despite making up only 42.4 percent of the untested group.
The Canadian study looked at 95 patients who became seriously ill with COVID-19 and looked at their results. Those with type A or type AB ended up needing treatment with a ventilator, compared with 61% when dealing with patients with type O or B.
Those with type A or AB blood had a median stay in the ICU of 13.5 days, compared with 9 days for those with type O or B, the study found.
We need to understand more
Dr Mypinder Sekhon, author of the Canadian study and works in the intensive care unit at Vancouver General Hospital, told CNN that the study is deep in his mind when evaluating patients, but says they must be “repeated results in many. jurisdictions “that show the same link to be considered a” definitive marker “.
“I don’t think this replaces other severity risk factors like age and comorbidities and so on,” Sekhon said.
Dr Torben Barington, the senior author of the Danish study, agrees that the findings have potential scientific interest when it comes to understanding COVID-19 and creating vaccines, but there are still many unknowns.
“We don’t know if it’s some kind of protection from group O, or if it’s some kind of vulnerability in the other blood groups,” he told CNN.
Both studies were published in Blood Advances, a medical journal published by the American Society of Hematology.
Both doctors agree that studies shouldn’t immediately change the way people approach their daily lives.
“If one is of blood type A, you don’t need to start panicking,” said Dr. Sekhon. “And if you are of blood type O, you are not free to go to pubs and bars.”
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