Blood Transfusion - 1 2021 (January-February)
Relationship between the ABO blood group and COVID-19 susceptibility, severity and mortality in two cohorts of patients
 
Authors:  Eduardo Muñiz-Diaz, Jaume Llopis, Rafael Parra, Imma Roig, Gonzalo Ferrer, Joan Grifols, Anna Millán, Gabriela Ene, Laia Ramiro, Laura Maglio, Nadia García, Asunción Pinacho, Anny Jaramillo, Agustí Peró, Gonzalo Artaza, Roser Vallés, Silvia Sauleda, LLuís Puig, Enric Contreras
Pages:  54-63
To cite this article:  54 Blood Transfus 2021; 19: 54-63
Doi:  10.2450/2020.0256-20
Published online:  12/11/2020

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ABSTRACT
 
Background - Several articles reported the existence of an association between ABO blood groups and COVID-19 susceptibility. Group A and group O individuals showed a higher and lower risk, respectively, of becoming infected. No association was observed between ABO groups and mortality. To verify this association, we performed a retrospective study of two cohorts of patients with different demographic and clinical characteristics.
Material and methods - A total of 854 regular blood donors were recruited for convalescent plasma donation after recovering from a mild COVID-19 infection, and a group of 965 patients more severely affected who were transfused during hospitalisation were also included. We also investigated the potential role of the different risk factors on patient outcome and death. To eliminate the confounding effect of risk factors on mortality, a propensity score analysis was performed.
Results - Blood group A and blood group O COVID-19 blood donors showed a higher and lower risk, respectively, for acquiring COVID-19. In contrast, this association was not found in the group of patients transfused during hospitalisation, probably due to the great differences in demographic and clinical characteristics between the two groups. Regarding severity, age was one of the most significant risk factors. ABO blood groups were also seen to represent important risk factors for COVID-19 severity and mortality. Mortality risk in group A individuals was significantly higher than in group O individuals (OR: 1.75, 95% CI: 1.22-2.51).
Discussion - The association between the ABO blood groups and the susceptibility to acquire COVID-19 infection was confirmed in the group of blood donors. ABO blood groups were also associated to COVID-19 severity and mortality in the group of patients transfused during hospitalisation. Therefore, blood groups A and O are two important factors to be considered when evaluating the prognosis of patients with COVID-19.
 
Keywords: ABO blood group, COVID-19, disease susceptibility, mortality.
  
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