(CNN) – Whether a person contracts a serious form of COVID-19 could depend on their blood type and DNA, according to a new study by a team of European scientists.
Their findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, could help explain why some people become seriously ill with the virus, while most hardly show symptoms.
The researchers found that people with type A blood have a higher risk of contracting the virus and become extremely ill, while people with type O blood have a lower risk.
The researchers can’t say if his blood type is the main reason why he may be more or less susceptible to the virus, but they detected common genetic variations in the sickest patients and that they could be related to a person’s blood type.
Variations could be associated with a person’s immune response.
An overwhelming overreaction of the immune system is attributed to the more lethal effects of the coronavirus in many patients.
The difference in risk between blood types is small. The researchers say the findings are more helpful in designing coronavirus drugs or vaccines.
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