Genes and Blood Type Tied to Risk of Severe COVID-19

June 22, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified June 23, 2020

According to the most current article posted on the NIH Director’s Blog, a recent genome-wide association (GWAS) study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that gene variants in two regions of the human genome are associated with severe COVID-19 and correspondingly carry a greater risk of COVID-19-related death. The findings suggest that people with blood type A face a 50 percent greater risk of needing oxygen support or a ventilator, should they become infected with the coronavirus. In contrast, people with blood type O appear to have about a 50 percent reduced risk of severe COVID-19. 

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