Share article:
Share article:

Blood type has a role in Covid severity, study shows

© Belga

A person’s blood group has an influence on their chances of becoming severely ill when infected by the coronavirus, according to an international study carried out on nearly 4,000 people in two countries.

The study shows that patients with blood type A have 45% more than average chance of developing severe symptoms of the disease Covid-19 caused by the virus. The majority of fatal cases involve serious respiratory failure requiring respirator support in intensive care.

The study looked at 835 patients and 1,255 control subjects in Italy, and 775 patients and 950 control subject in Spain – two of Europe’s earliest and most affected countries.

They then looked to see if there was evidence that genetic factors could be linked to the likelihood of developing serious symptoms of Covid-19.

And indeed, they discovered a link between blood type A and the development of severe symptoms.

Despite what the Belgian Red Cross has described as a “particularly high-quality” study, the organisation said there was no reason to panic.

It is not because you have blood type A that you will end up in hospital with serious breathing problems once you become infected with the coronavirus,” said Nena Testelmans, a science journalist who works for the Red Cross in Flanders.

It is not yet even sure that your blood type has an impact on the course of the disease when you are infected. and there are also many other factors that determine that course.”

Among those unrelated risk factors are high-risk conditions such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, and most of all age. More than half of all confirmed cases were over the age of 60, with 40% over the age of 70.

More than half of all deaths were people aged over 75, according to figures from federal health institute Sciensano.

The Red Cross stressed – following the basic scientific principle that correlation is not causation – that the connection, however respectable the study, requires more work to determine the exact link, and the mechanism by which blood type affects health outcomes.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...