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The authors of this retrospective multicenter cohort study reviewed mortality associated with ABO phenotype in 3239 critically ill patients with COVID-19 infection. The 28-day mortality rate was 39.3% and was similar across ABO phenotypes, unchanged by Rh group. In subgroup analysis by ethnicity, critically ill white patients with blood type A were over-represented and type O was under-represented compared with frequencies identified in the general population. The authors note several limitations of this study, including missing ABO blood types for approximately one-third of patients and the limited ability to account for potential confounding factors.
In patients with COVID-19 infection, type A blood may be associated with a higher likelihood of developing a severe infection requiring ICU admission than type O blood among white patients. Larger cohort studies are necessary to confirm these findings.
– Curtis Lachowiez, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Blood groups are inherited traits that vary across populations, likely due to both founder effects and natural selection. A link between blood groups and susceptibility to infectious disease has been well-described, with notable examples being H. Pylori and Plasmodium falciparum infection. Blood group antigens may influence disease susceptibility by several mechanisms, including serving as receptors or decoys for infectious organisms and modifying immune response in the form of anti-ABO antibodies.