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Your blood type determines your heart health


HQ Team

December 6, 2022: Knowing your blood type is as crucial as having your identification papers with you at all times in case of emergencies. Science has advanced to identify a lot of biomarkers from your blood type. Ongoing research says that it can even help you determine your heart health.

When we donate blood or have surgery, a small sample is usually taken to determine your blood type and Rh factor.  If you are O+, the O is your ABO type, and the + is your Rh type.  It is possible to be A B O and Ab as well as Rh+ or Rh- . Blood is said to be “positive” or “negative” based on whether there are proteins on the red blood cells. If your blood has proteins, you’re Rhesus, or Rh, positive. People with type O-negative blood are considered “universal donors” because their blood doesn’t have any antigens or proteins, meaning anyone can receive blood from them.

 Why are there these different types of blood groups? Researches say factors such as someone’s ancestry and past infection may have contributed to protective mutations in the blood.

Research found that people with type O blood are more prone to cholera, while people with type A or B blood may be more likely to experience blood clotting issues.

People with type A, type B or type AB blood are more likely than people with type O to have a heart attack or experience heart failure. “While people cannot change their blood type, our findings may help physicians better understand who is at risk for developing heart disease,” said Senior author Lu Qi, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition, Harvard.

Qi in an American Heart Association (AHA) press release, said. “It’s good to know your blood type in the same way you should know your cholesterol or blood pressure numbers. If you know you’re at higher risk, you can reduce the risk by adopting a healthier lifestyle, such as eating right, exercising, and not smoking.”

 While the increased risk is small (types A or B had a combined 8% higher risk of heart attack and 10% increased risk of heart failure, according to one large study) the difference in blood clotting rates is much higher, per the AHA. People in the same study with type A and B blood were 51% more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis and 47% more likely to develop a pulmonary embolism, which can also increase the risk of heart failure.

It is believed the proteins present in type A and type B blood may cause more “blockage” or “thickening” in the veins and arteries, leading to an increased risk of clotting and heart disease. 

People with type O blood have a slightly lower risk of heart disease and blood clotting but may be more susceptible to haemorrhaging or bleeding disorders.

According to a study published in Critical Care, people with type O blood may also fare worse after a traumatic injury due to increased blood loss.

Post COvid-19 there is some emerging research that says that heart health is at risk post covid. This early evidence and findings are concerning.

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