Your blood type could make you more likely to contract coronavirus - according to a new study

Wednesday, 10th June 2020, 3:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th June 2020, 3:50 pm
This is not the only study to suggest certain blood types protect people from the virus. (Credit: Shuttersock)
This is not the only study to suggest certain blood types protect people from the virus. (Credit: Shuttersock)

A new study has suggested that your blood type could determine whether you get coronavirus, according to a biotechnology company.

Preliminary data from the study, carried out by researchers at the DNA genetic testing company 23andMe, suggests that those who have the blood type O, were up to 26 per cent less likely to contract coronavirus after being exposed, than any other blood group.

But the good news for those with blood type O doesn't stop there. The research also suggests that they are up to 18 per cent less likely to test positive for the disease caused by the virus, known as Covid-19, if they do get infected.

Researchers behind the study have suggested that such findings could show a variant in the ABO gene, which is responsible for the different blood groups, may be linked to a lower risk of catching the virus.

What happened during the study?

More than 750,000 people took part in the study, including 10,000 who reported having developed Covid-19.

Out of those who took part only roughly 1.3 per cent with type O blood had tested positive for Covid-19. Whereas, 1.5 per cent of people with type B or type AB blood and 1.4 per cent of participants with type A blood were found to be infected with the virus.

Additionally, participants who had been exposed to the virus, such as frontline health workers, were between 13 and 26 percent less likely to test positive, if they had O-type blood.

Such findings did not change even when the studies variables such as age, sex, body mass index and underlying health conditions were taken into consideration.

However, at this stage the findings are preliminary and have yet to be peer reviewed and have not yet been published in a medical journal

Corroborating findings

This is not the only study to suggest certain blood types protect people from the virus.

A study in China in March 2020 found that participants in blood group O had a lower risk of contracting the virus and developing Covid-19, while those with type A blood had a higher risk than people in other blood groups.

However this study was also in the preliminary stages and not yet peer reviewed.

Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City also conducted a study which found that people with O-negative and O-positive blood types were less likely to fall ill with coronavirus than other blood groups.

The most common blood type is O-positive, whereas the rarest blood type is AB-negative.