Type A blood greater risk for COVID-19 complications, Penn Medicine researchers say

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Researchers at Penn Medicine are learning more about why people with Type A blood may be at a greater risk for complications from COVID-19.

There's growing evidence people with Type A blood are at a greater risk for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS. It's a life-threatening condition and many times is the reason why patients end up on ventilators.

New research out of Penn shows Type A blood is more likely to clot when patients are critically sick than patients with Type O.

Action News spoke with Dr. John Reilly. He said this could lead to more targeted treatments.

"So if we understand why people with blood Type A have this increased risk, could we develop drugs that target the molecules that are impacted by blood type? And then for example, say you're blood Type A, we could give you a particular drug to try to prevent severe COVID disease or prevent ARDS even outside of COVID," he said.

Obviously, you can't change your blood type. Dr. Reilly said the increased risk for people with Type A blood is low, especially compared to other factors.

So he said right now, focus on what you can do to stay healthy. Take precautions and also manage any chronic illnesses you have. make sure to focus on what you can control.
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