Your heart health is one of the most important things you need to maintain—heart disease has been the leading cause of death globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). But you should be especially cognizant of your chances of having a heart attack, as these cardiovascular events are responsible for nearly 85 percent of all heart disease deaths. And according to January research, your blood type could actually increase your heart attack risk. Read on to find out if you should be concerned, and for more on your heart health,
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If you have a non-O blood type, you have a higher heart attack risk.
Researchers sought to discover how blood type factors into heart attack risk, publishing their findings Jan. 23 in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, an American Heart Association (AHA) journal. The study, which analyzed more than 400,000 people, found that people with blood types A or B had a combined 8 percent higher risk of heart attack than those with blood type O.
A similar study featuring more than 1.36 million people was done by the European Society of Cardiology in 2017. This earlier study produced consistent results, with researchers determining that those with a non-O blood type experienced a 9 percent increased risk of coronary and cardiovascular events, particularly heart attacks. And for more on the risks associated with your blood type,
People with blood type B have the highest risk for heart attacks.
When researchers for the 2021 study compared blood types A and B with blood type O, they discovered a significant increased risk of heart attack with blood type B. According to the study, people with type B had a 15 percent increased risk for myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack, compared to those with type O. And for more health concerns
But people with blood type A have the highest risk of heart failure.
When it comes to heart failure, those with blood type A have the highest risk, however. According to the 2021 study, non-O blood types had a combined heightened risk of 10 percent when comparing heart failure with blood type O. But blood type A had a significantly raised risk, with an 11 percent increased risk of heart failure compared to blood type O. According to WebMD, heart failure and heart attack are both forms of heart disease, but heart failure tends to develop gradually while heart attacks happen more suddenly. Heart attacks can also result in heart failure over time. And for more up-to-date information,
This is likely due to the difference in blood clots between blood types.
According to the European Society of Cardiology, the heightened risk of heart attack or heart failure between these non-O blood types may be due to the fact that they are more likely to develop blood clots. The researchers from the 2017 study explained that non-O blood group carriers have “greater concentrations of von Willebrand factor, a blood clotting protein which has been associated with thrombotic events.”
And the findings from the 2021 study back this up. According to this more recent study, people with type A and type B blood were 44 percent more likely to experience thrombosis, or the formation of a blood clot. As the North American Thrombosis Forum (NATF) explains on
their website, blood clots play a major role in heart attacks, as they can “block the coronary artery and starve the heart muscle of oxygen and nutrients, resulting in a heart attack.”