10 ways your blood group can affect your health

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 1 Feb, 2024 07:00 | 4 mins read
Representation of blood collection. PHOTO/Pexels
Representation of blood collection. PHOTO/Pexels

There are many people out there clueless about their blood type.

While knowing your blood group can save your life in an emergency in case you are in sudden need of a blood transfusion, of much importance is that this knowledge will let you be aware if you are at risk for certain medical conditions.

1. Type AB, B, and A have an increased risk of heart disease

People whose blood type is A, B, or AB have an increased risk of heart disease and shorter life spans than those who have type O blood, according to a large study published in UK’s BMC Medicine, a peer review journal.

After following more than 50,000 middle-age and elderly people for seven years, on average, researchers found that as many as nine per cent of cardiovascular deaths were attributed to having non-O blood types.

However, lifestyle factors such as weight, smoking, and diet, which, unlike blood type, are modifiable, have a much greater impact on heart disease.

2. Type AB, A, and B increases risk blood clots

Danish researchers studied how blood type interacts with a genetic predisposition for Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT), or blood clots in the lower legs that can travel to the lungs and become life-threatening.

After analysing data on about 66,000 people over more than 30 years, they found that those with type AB, A, or B had a 40 per cent higher risk of DVT than people with type O.

When the scientists did further analysis to see which factors have the biggest impact on DVT risk on a population level, they found that an AB blood type contributed to about 20 per cent of blood clots; genetic mutations accounted for 11 per cent, being overweight accounted for 16 per cent, and smoking accounted for six per cent.

3. Type O have low fertility

Women with this blood type were twice as likely to have blood levels of the hormone FSH high enough to indicate low ovarian reserve, a measure of fertility, according to a study published in UK’s Human Reproduction.

Researchers couldn’t say for sure why, though. Given that type O blood is the most prevalent, it doesn’t pay to worry too much about it.

Age is a far more important risk factor for fertility problems.

4. Type AB increases risk of dementia and memory loss

People with type AB blood have an 82 per cent greater risk for cognitive decline later in life, according to a study published in Journal of Neurology, a peer-reviewed international journal.

That’s likely because they have larger amounts of what’s known as the Factor VIII protein, which helps with blood clotting.

Study participants with higher levels of this protein were 24 per cent more likely to develop memory problems—regardless of their blood type—than people with lower levels.

Blood type, however, is far from the only, or even most important, factor that affects your risk for cognitive decline.

5. Types A and AB have increases risk of stomach cancer

Researchers have known for a while that people with blood type A are at risk for stomach cancer.

Bacterial infections from helicobacter pylori (H Pylori)are more common in patients who have type A blood, and these infections can cause stomach ulcers, inflammations, and sometimes lead to cancer.

But research published in BMC Cancer shows that people with blood type AB are also at risk.

Using genetic data from a large number of cases and controls, researchers found a link between both blood types and gastric cancer in Chinese populations. A review of 39 previous studies confirmed their findings.

6. Negative Rhesus (Rh) factor increases pregnancy risks

This has nothing to do with your “letter” blood type or the type determined by the ABO grouping system.

This has to do with what’s known as the Rhesus (Rh) factor, which determines whether your blood type is positive or negative. This could cause complications in pregnant women if the baby’s Rh blood type is different from the mother’s.

For instance, if the mother has a negative blood type and the baby has a positive one, the mother’s body can actually build up antibodies against the baby’s blood type. Luckily, this doesn’t affect the baby, but it could have a negative effect on future pregnancies.

Fortunately, doctors can give pregnant women a shot early in their pregnancy that can prevent Rh-incompatibility problems.

7. Type O people have the lowest risk for stroke

People with a blood type other than O (the most common) have a higher risk of cardiovascular issues such as stroke, according to a study published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Biologists are still investigating why this might be; one possible explanation is that non-O blood types contain more of the Von Willebrand factor, a protein that has been connected to blood clotting and stroke in the past.

8. Type O people have a longer life span

Chances are higher you will live longer if you have type O blood. Experts think your lowered risk of disease in your heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease) may be one reason for this.

9. Type A are more prone to stress

Stress boosts your body’s level of cortisol, the stress hormone. People with type A blood tend to have more cortisol.

So you may have a harder time dealing with stressful situations.

10. Mosquitoes like Type O blood

If you find yourself scratching bug bites, your blood type might be to blame. In a one small study, researchers found that type Os are up to twice as attractive to mosquitoes as type As, with type Bs falling somewhere in the middle.

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