According to science, your blood type has an impact on your heart health

According to science, your blood type has an impact on your heart health
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Every second of every day, minute variations pass through our veins, splitting our blood into A+, A-, B+, B+, O-, O+, AB+, and AB- groups.

Those minute variances don’t normally matter until they do, such as when you require a blood transfusion in the hospital or when you give blood and are informed of your blood type. During pregnancy, some women learn if they require special therapy because they have a second blood type.

However, recent blood type research reveals that it may be more relevant than we thought, at least for determining the risk of some health disorders, including heart disease. These intangible blood distinctions can help some people fight cardiovascular disease while making others more vulnerable.

What does blood type signify, and how does it differ from other blood types?

The letters A, B, and O represent distinct variants of the ABO gene, which program human blood cells to generate different blood types in different ways. If you have type AB blood, for example, your body is predisposed to create antigens A and B on red blood cells. Antigens are not produced by people with blood type O.

Depending on whether there are proteins on the red blood cells, blood is called “positive” or “negative.” Rh-positive means your blood includes proteins.

Because their blood contains no antigens or proteins, people with blood type O- are called “universal donors,” as it may be given to anybody in an emergency.

But why do various blood types exist? Researchers don’t know for sure, but Dr. Douglas Guggenheim, a hematologist at Penn Medicine, believes that factors including where a person’s ancestors originated from and past diseases that generated defensive changes in the blood may have contributed to the variety. People with blood type O, for example, are more susceptible to cholera, but those with blood types A or B are more prone to experience blood clotting issues. While our blood cannot keep up with biological or viral dangers in real-time, it may reflect events in the past.

“In short,” Guggenheim adds, “it’s almost as if the body developed around its surroundings to defend it as best it could.”

Blood type
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The blood types that are most at risk for heart disease

Persons with blood types A, B, or AB are more likely than people with blood type O to have a heart attack or heart failure, according to the American Heart Association.

While the increased risk is minimal (according to one major study, type A or B had an 8% greater risk of heart attack and a 10% increased risk of heart failure), the difference in blood clotting rates is significant, according to AHAers. People with blood types A and B were 51 percent and 47 percent more likely, respectively, to have deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, both of which are significant blood clotting diseases that raise cardiac risk.

One cause for this elevated risk, according to Guggenheim, might be inflammation in the bodies of those with blood types A, B, or AB. Type A and type B blood proteins can produce greater “blockage” or “thickening” in the veins and arteries, increasing the risk of clotting and heart disease.

Guggenheim also believes this might explain the anecdotal (but inconclusive) reduction in the likelihood of severe COVID-19 sickness in patients with blood type O, which prompted the study. Heart difficulties, blood clotting, and other cardiovascular issues are common with severe COVID-19 disease.

Blood Type’s Other Consequences

People with blood type O have a decreased risk of heart disease and blood clotting, but they are more likely to have bleeding and bleeding disorders. According to research on postpartum blood loss, which indicated an elevated risk in women with blood type O, this may be especially true after childbirth.

People with blood type O may perform poorly after a traumatic injury due to higher blood loss, according to research published in Critical Care.

According to other studies, those with blood type AB had a higher risk of cognitive impairment than people with blood type O. Memory, concentration, and decision-making problems are all examples of cognitive deficits.

Should I change my lifestyle based on my blood type?

Should I change my lifestyle based on my blood type?
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While a new study suggests that a person’s blood type can have a substantial impact on their chance of getting heart disease, other factors such as nutrition, exercise, and even the degree of pollution in their town all play a part in determining heart health.

Regardless of a person’s blood type, Guggenheim says there is no specific prescription he would make for patients wanting to maintain their heart-healthy other than a good heart-friendly diet that minimizes inflammation.

Future studies, he says, might provide more defined ways for doctors to treat patients depending on their blood type. When all conditions are equal, a patient with healthy cholesterol levels and type A blood may benefit from taking aspirin on a regular basis, but a patient with type O blood may not.

“Any doctor will tell you to have a balanced, heart-healthy diet in general, and ABO doesn’t change that,” Guggenheim adds.

“I don’t think having type O blood, which correlates to being Scotsfree, provides any protection,” he says.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided solely for educational and informative reasons and is not intended to be used as medical or health advice. If you have any questions regarding a medical condition or your health objectives, always see a physician or another trained healthcare professional.

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