INDIANAPOLIS — This is an update to previous VERIFY reports published earlier this year.
The impact that your blood type has on whether you contract coronavirus continues to be a hot topic, prompting lots of questions for the 13News VERIFY team.
“I read that a person's blood type can help determine how likely you might be to get COVID-19. It said O type is less likely to get it and AB is more likely. Is this true?” 13News viewer Jan Plummer asked VERIFY this week.
This summer, 13News reported on several preliminary studies that suggested people may be more or less likely to contract COVID-19 based on their blood type, while another study found no direct association between blood type and coronavirus risk.
New research is providing additional evidence that a link might exist.
The medical journal “Blood Advances” has published two studies that both suggest your blood type might impact your risk level for getting COVID-19.
The journal reports on a Danish study that looked at thousands of people with coronavirus. People with Type O blood accounted for 3.3 percent fewer coronavirus cases than expected based on Denmark's population. Those with Type A blood accounted for 2 percent more COVID-19 cases than would be expected.
A second study in Canada analyzed COVID-19 patients who required hospitalization. Patients with Type O or B blood had a median stay in the intensive care unit of 9 days. Patients with Type A or AB blood had a median ICU stay of 13 1/2 days and were 23 percent more likely to need a ventilator.
The researchers wrote their findings "demonstrate that critically ill COVID-19 patients with blood [Type] A or AB are associated with an increased risk for requiring mechanical ventilation…and prolonged ICU length of stay compared with patients with blood [Type] O or B." They also said their research had several limitations and encouraged more research on the topic.
The two studies do add to a growing body medical studies suggesting people with Type O blood might actually be less likely to get COVID-19 and to suffer serious medical problems from the virus than people with A or AB type blood. However, it is important to note there is not yet enough peer-reviewed research to confirm a direct and definitive link between COVID-19 risk and blood type.
Doctors who spoke with the medical journal said the latest research does not mean you are protected from coronavirus if you have Type O blood or that people with Type A blood should start panicking.