Clinician-scientists at VGH and UBC Hospital have published a study that indicates individuals with blood type O may have lower risk of COVID-19 infection and severe illness, while those with A or AB have had more adverse reactions.

The study found that of 95 patients critically ill with COVID-19, 84 per cent of those with blood type A or AB required mechanical ventilation and had a longer stay in ICU. Compared with patients with blood group O or B, where only 61 per cent required this step and were released sooner.

Data was collected from six Metro Vancouver ICUs, including VGH, between February and April of 2020 and analyzed at UBC, with support from VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.

“While there is plenty more research required to understand the biological mechanisms underpinning these findings, this is consistent with a Danish study recently published,” says Dr. Mypinder Sekhon, intensive care physician at VGH and an author of the study.

“It’s important to note that considerable additional work needs to be done in this field to understand this observation and individuals should not alter their social distancing behaviours based on blood group. Our society must continue to adhere to the guidelines put forth by the provincial health officer,” adds Dr. Sekhon.

VGH and UBC research impacting treatments

VGH and UBC Hospitals have helped provide several studies on the subject of COVID-19 this year alone.

One of which includes analyzing blood samples of critically ill COVID-19 infected patients to characterize the immune system, allowing physicians to provide optimal care for these patients.

These studies are supported by donors to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. Donate today and help contribute to the fight against COVID-19.