How your blood type can predict your risk of a deadly killer | The Sun
1st September 2022

WHEN it comes to blood – it can determine a lot about the state of your health.

Now, scientists have revealed that the red stuff might also predict your risk of developing a deadly condition at an early age.

Researchers in the US found that people with the greatest risk of having an early stroke were more likely to have blood type A.

An ischaemic stroke — the most common form of the condition — happens when a blockage cuts off the blood supply to part of your brain, killing brain cells. 

Medics said your risk increases if you're type A and you're over the age of 60.

Those with this blood had a 16 per cent higher risk of early onset stroke compared with the other blood types –  AB, B, or O.

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Meanwhile, young people with blood type 0 — the most common blood type — were 12 per cent less likely to have a stroke than those who had other blood types.

However, the experts at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, stressed that those with type A blood should not worry about having an early-onset stroke.

Steven J. Kittner, a professor of Neurology and one of the lead authors of the study said: “We still don’t know why blood type A would confer a higher risk, but it likely has something to do with blood-clotting factors."

Official data shows that strokes are currently the fourth single leading cause of death in the UK — killing around 35,000 Brits annually.

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Previous research has suggested that those with type A blood have a slightly higher risk of developing blood clots in the legs — known as deep vein thrombosis. 

“We clearly need more follow-up studies to clarify the mechanisms of increased stroke risk,” Prof Steven added.

The study, which involved looking at 48 previous studies on genetics and ischemic stroke, was published in journal Neurology.

Another study, found that those with AB blood were more likely to catch the coronavirus and die from it.

What blood types are there and what do they mean?

Blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in a liquid called plasma.

Your blood group is identified by antibodies and antigens in the blood.

There are 4 main blood groups (types of blood) – A, B, AB and O. 

Your blood group is determined by the genes you inherit from your parents.

Each group can be either RhD positive or RhD negative, which means in total there are technically 8 blood groups.

What are the causes of a stroke?

Ischaemic strokes are typically caused by arteries becoming narrower over time.

While arteries can narrow naturally with age, other factors, some of which are preventable, can accelerate the process:

  • smoking
  • obesity
  • drinking too much alcohol
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol levels
  • having diabetes

The less common haemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding in or around the brain, which is usually the result of high blood pressure.

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Again, the factors which contribute to high blood pressure can often be prevented:

  • being overweight or obese
  • drinking too much alcohol
  • smoking
  • lack of exercise
  • stress, which can cause a temporary rise in blood pressure

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