Published On: Mon, May 8th, 2017

Your blood group could increase risk of heart attack and stroke

bloodRecent research out of The Netherlands suggests that people with a non-O blood group have a slightly increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Experts believe that this could be because higher levels of a blood-clotting protein are present in people with A, B and AB blood.

The study adds to previous research, which found that people with the rarest blood group, AB, were the most vulnerable, being 23 percent more likely to suffer heart disease. It is also known that people with blood group A have higher cholesterol levels.

The most recent research, which was presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress, analysed studies involving 1.3 million people.

The analysis looked at coronary events in over 770,000 people with a non-O blood group, as compared to more than 510,000 people with an O blood group.

Around 1.5 percent in the first group and 1.4 percent in the second experienced a heart attack or angina.

The researchers also looked at cardiovascular events in 708,000 people with non-O blood and 476,000 with O blood, which affected 2.5 percent and 2.3 percent of each group respectively.

Overall, the study found that 15 in 1,000 people with a non-O blood group suffered a heart attack, compared to 14 in 1,000 people with blood group O.

While the increase in risk appeared small at first glance, the numbers became significant when applied to an entire population.

Study author Tessa Kole, from the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, said more research was needed to work out the cause of the increased cardiovascular risk in people with a non-O blood group.

She added that looking at the risk for each individual blood group would help.

“In future, blood group should be considered in risk assessment for cardiovascular prevention, together with cholesterol, age, sex and systolic blood pressure,” she said.

Other factors that can increase the risk of heart disease – such as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and leading an unhealthy lifestyle – can be changed, unlike our blood group.

An individual’s blood group is determined by genes inherited from both parents.

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