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What blood type can reveal about stroke risk
Most of us never think about our blood type except when it’s time to donate. But the truth is those letters also help identify much more — including disease risk.
In fact, studies have linked blood type from everything to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia to an elevated chance of ending up with COVID-19.
A massive population study of over five million people was even able to connect blood type and 49 separate illnesses.
Now a team of scientists at the University of Maryland has once again revealed the importance of knowing your blood type…
That’s because it may play a significant role in whether or not you have a higher risk of suffering a stroke before the age of 60.
Two types increase risk, one reduces
The four basic blood types — A, B, AB and O. Of course, there are slight variations on genes that cause those to be broken down into additional categories. Knowing the basics, however, is enough to help us understand the ins and outs of what those Maryland researchers discovered…
The scientists compiled data from 48 genetic studies, involving roughly 617,000 people under the age of 60, comparing blood type to stroke incidence.
Overall, they discovered that three blood types appear to have a non-modifiable effect on stroke.
The team was able to pinpoint two blood types that actually increase the chances for stroke at a young age: types A and B.
On the other hand, if you have type O blood, you can consider yourself the winner in the stroke risk lottery.
The scientists found that before the age of 60:
- Having type A blood increases your risk of stroke by 16%
- Blood type B raises your risk of stroke by 11%
- People with O blood type have a 12% lower risk than other types
“We still don’t know why blood type A would confer a higher risk,” said senior author and vascular neurologist Steven Kittner. “But it likely has something to do with blood-clotting factors like platelets and cells that line the blood vessels as well as other circulating proteins, all of which play a role in the development of blood clots.”
Age: Another non-modifiable factor
However, the scientists say that there is good news for those of us with the risk types.
After the age of 60, blood type is no longer linked to an elevated risk of stroke.
This is likely due to the fact that strokes at a younger age usually go hand-in-hand with clot formation, rather than the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, which generally contributes to late-life strokes.
Even though there is little to do about non-modifiable factors, like age and blood type, there are other ways to chip away at stroke risk.
The Harvard T.H. Chang School of Public Health found that “pro-inflammatory” foods increase inflammatory biomarkers in the body. Eating these foods can raise your risk of heart disease by a massive 46 percent and your risk of stroke by 28 percent! Cut them out of your diet.
It’s also important to note that regardless of the level of genetic stroke risk, following a heart-healthy lifestyle has been shown to lower risk for stroke 30 to 45 percent.
Certain nutrients and supplements also have a reputation for lowering this risk.
Anyone, regardless of stroke risk, should know how to recognize and prevent the types of strokes that occur in younger people.
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Your Blood Type May Affect Your Risk of an Early Stroke, Research Reveals – Science Alert