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With the likelihood of workers’ compensation COVID-19 claims on the horizon, and with presumptions supporting them, opportunities for apportionment of permanent disability may be more important than ever in claims management.

Researchers who just published a new study, report that a person’s blood type may affect their risk for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new corona virus.

The findings appear on the website medRxiv, where health researchers publish studies before they undergo the peer review process required by journals.

Researchers used observational healthcare data on 1559 individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 (682 COV+) with known blood type in the New York Presbyterian (NYP) hospital system to assess the association between ABO+Rh blood type and SARS-CoV-2 infection status, intubation, and death.

They found a higher proportion of blood group A and a lower proportion of blood group O among COV+ patients compared to COV-, though in both cases the result is significant only in Rh positive blood types.

The effect of blood type is not explained by risk factors they considered (age, sex, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, overweight status, and chronic cardiovascular and lung disorders).

In a meta-analysis of NYP data with previously-reported data from China, they found enrichment for A and B and depletion of O blood groups among COVID-19 patients compared to the general population. They also found new evidence of associations between B, AB, and Rh blood groups and COVID-19 and further evidence of recently-discovered associations between A and O blood groups and COVID-19.

The China study was limited because of its small size and it didn’t offer an explanation for its findings, Gao Yingdai, a researcher from the State Key Laboratory of Experimental Hematology in Tianjin, told the South China Morning Post.

The finding that blood type may affect COVID-19 risk could be important for healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients, because those with A blood types” “might need particularly strengthened personal protection to reduce the chance of infection.”

Also, people with A blood types might require “more vigilant surveillance and aggressive treatment,” and identifying a person’s blood type as a routine part of treating COVID-19 and other coronavirus infections might be helpful, according to the researchers, Newsweek reported.