NASHSVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Blood type O is making headlines after studies published last week claimed those who have it may be at a lower risk of COVID-19 infection and severe illness.
News4 spoke with a doctor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who says we shouldn't put a lot of faith in this one, just yet.
"I'm not 100 percent confident that I would hang my hat on this information being hopeful," said Dr. Garrett Booth.
Dr. Booth is an associate professor of pathology at VUMC.
He says there have been multiple studies done both in the U.S. and internationally trying to prove that those with blood type O aren't as susceptible to COVID-19.
"Some preliminary reports suggested that ABO blood typing could be used to identify a risk of a patient that would be at higher risk or have a protective effect," Dr. Booth said. "Since then this finding has been somewhat mitigated and the results are less impressive."
A Danish study finds that among some 473,000 people who tested positive for COVID-19, only 38.4 percent had blood type O.
Canadian researchers found that out of 95 patients who were critically ill with COVID-19, 84 percent had blood type A or AB and needed ventilators.
That’s compared to 61 percent of patients with blood group O or B.
“Although there seems to be a small association as it relates to ABO blood types, at present, it is not a part of a clinical diagnostic work for a patient with symptoms or even without symptoms to determine risk of coronavirus,” Dr. Booth said.
"The exact mechanism behind this minor association are not fully understood."
Like most COVID-19 studies, Dr. Booth says we still have a ways to go before we fully understand what the impacts are.