23andMe Reveals That Blood Type May Determine Susceptibility to Coronavirus

June 10, 2020
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Your blood type may determine how susceptible you are to coronavirus, according to a preliminary study from 23andMe, the genetic testing service.

Scientists have been trying to find answers as to why some people are asymptomatic upon contracting the virus while others experience serious and even deadly symptoms.

In April, the study examined 750,000 participants in the database, according to Bloomberg News, including 10,000 who tested positive for COVID-19.

Early results provide more evidence that people with Type O blood are between 9-18% less at risk to become infected with the disease than other blood types. The study found little to no difference amongst the other blood types.

Their findings held true when adjusted for different variables such as age, ethnicity, and pre-existing conditions, the company noted.

The study only focused on susceptibility to the illness and not severity of symptoms among different blood types once infected.

While more information is still needed, the findings also provide a link between the ABO gene and COVID.

“It’s early days; even with these sample sizes, it might not be enough to find genetic associations,” he said. “We’re not the only group looking at this, and ultimately the scientific community may need to pool their resources to really address questions surrounding the links between genetics and COVID-19," 23andMe lead researcher Adam Auton told the publication.

The findings are backed up by a European study conducted last week that also found Type O has a lesser risk. Those with Type A blood were found to be 50% more likely to need oxygen or require a ventilator, per the New York Post.

23andMe’s research elaborates on a study from China conducted back in March when the virus was just beginning to take hold in the United States.

Researchers studying COVID-19 in its outbreak epicenter of Wuhan and Shenzhen believe that blood type may determine your vulnerability to the virus. In their findings, people with blood type A might be more susceptible to the virus while those with type O blood could be more resistant.

“People of blood group A might need particularly strengthened personal protection to reduce the chance of infection,” the researchers at Centre for Evidence-Based and Translational Medicine based out of Wuhan wrote.

Despite the findings, they encouraged people of all blood types to exert caution, wear masks, and practice proper social distancing.

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