The association of ABO blood group with indices of disease severity and multiorgan dysfunction in COVID-19.

Blood Advances
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Hoiland RL, Fergusson NA, Mitra AR, Griesdale DEG, Devine DV, Stukas S, Cooper J, Thiara S, Foster D, Chen LYC, Lee AYY, Conway EM, Wellington CL and Sekhon MS

Blood Adv (2020) 4 (20): 4981–4989.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002623

Abstract

Studies on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 1 (SARS-CoV-1) suggest a protective effect of anti-A antibodies against viral cell entry that may hold relevance for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, we aimed to determine whether ABO blood groups are associated with different severities of COVID-19. We conducted a multicenter retrospective analysis and nested prospective observational substudy of critically ill patients with COVID-19. We collected data pertaining to age, sex, comorbidities, dates of symptom onset, hospital admission, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, mechanical ventilation, continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), standard laboratory parameters, and serum inflammatory cytokines. National (N = 398 671; P = .38) and provincial (n = 62 246; P = .60) ABO blood group distributions did not differ from our cohort (n = 95). A higher proportion of COVID-19 patients with blood group A or AB required mechanical ventilation (P = .02) and CRRT (P = .004) and had a longer ICU stay (P = .03) compared with patients with blood group O or B. Blood group A or AB also had an increased probability of requiring mechanical ventilation and CRRT after adjusting for age, sex, and presence of ≥1 comorbidity. Inflammatory cytokines did not differ between patients with blood group A or AB (n = 11) vs O or B (n = 14; P > .10 for all cytokines). Collectively, our data indicate that critically ill COVID-19 patients with blood group A or AB are at increased risk for requiring mechanical ventilation, CRRT, and prolonged ICU admission compared with patients with blood group O or B. Further work is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms.

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