Do You Know Your Blood Type? It May Put You at Higher Risk for Strokes
In the past, a number of studies found stroke risk to be higher in individuals with A, B, or AB blood types. (Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the nation.) Type O blood is more prone to bleeding; it clots less rapidly and as a result, those with O blood are less prone to strokes. Of course, more care must be taken with O types because of the bleeding factor.
However, before you go and curse your genetic history, as with all the research done in biochemistry and medicine, a lot more research has to accumulate the same results before definitive cause/effect relationships can be deduced. A longitudinal study's findings presented Wednesday at the 84th annual meeting of the American Heart Association adds more evidence that blood type is related to stroke risk.
For more than 25 years, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in two observational studies investigated 90,000 men and women to understand the extent to which one blood type was more prone to strokes than the other blood types. The research team led by Dr. Lu Qi at Brigham and Women's Hospital used subjects with type O blood as their reference point. The team examined the number of strokes, 2,901, that had occurred over that period of time and controlled for high blood pressure and other variables.
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By comparison, researchers found that an AB blood type was associated with a 26 % greater risk of ischemic strokes which are caused by blood clots stopping oxygen to brain cells. Nine out of 10 strokes are Ischemic and the great push in the last 40 years has centered around how unhealthy lifestyles (smoking, obesity, drinking, excessive fat and salt consumption) contribute to plaques and other substance build-up narrowing blood vessels that lead to blockages and Ischemic "brain attacks."