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Study Finds Link Between Blood Type And Severe COVID-19

Apr, 2022

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The new study analyzed 3000 proteins for identifying the ones causally linked to development of severe COVID-19, where the findings offer insights into new targets for treating severe COVID-19.

A group of researchers at King’s College, London conducted a study where they found a causal link between blood type and development of severe COVID-19. The researchers studied 3000 proteins for identifying the ones causally linked to heightened risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. In the early period of pandemic, scientists started tracking link between severities of COVID-19 disease and blood group of the patient. Some of the earliest studies found link between a blood type of a person and their risk of severe infection of the virus.

In this new study, the scientists found causal link between blood type and severe COVID-19. The team used an analytical method known as Mendelian randomization and assessed the relationship between the gene variants that regulate blood proteins levels and outcomes of COVID-19 disease. The team studied over 3,000 blood proteins and the severity of COVID-19 was decided by either death or hospitalization. The key finding of the study was the causal link between an enzyme called ABO that is responsible for determining blood type of a person, and severe COVID-19. However, the study did not further interrogate the link between particular blood groups and COVID-19 severity. The finding of ABO however validate earlier observational research that linked type A blood with heightened risk of severe COVID-19.

According to the scientists, these findings help scientists investigate new ways to treat or prevent severe COVID-19. For instance, many blood proteins were causally linked to decreased risk of severe infection. These proteins play a role in the interaction of blood vessels and immune cells. According to the scientists, these proteins could help in moderating the severity of COVID-19 in late-stage and it could help develop a treatment for preventing sick patients with declining health.

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