People with blood group A, B or AB are at a higher risk of heart attack or stroke, compared to people with group 0.
Research shows that there is a difference in the risk of heart attack and stroke depending on the blood group you have.
The research, recently presented at a European Cardiac Congress, shows that people who either have A, B or AB as blood groups are at a slightly greater risk than people with blood group 0.
The increase in risk for the individual is very small, however. But at a population level, the difference is statistically significant. People with blood group AB are at the greatest risk.
The researchers from UMCG, the medical university in Groningen, Netherlands, believe that the incidence of blood clotting proteins is higher in non-0 blood groups A, B and AB, compared with blood group 0.
The study comprises data from 1.3 million people from 11 prospective cohorts, described in nine articles. With a total of 23,154 cardiovascular events.
The analysis of all cardiovascular events included 771,113 people with a non-O blood group and 519,743 people with an O blood group, of whom 11,437 (1.5%) and 7,220 (1.4%) suffered an event, respectively. The odds ratio (OR) for all coronary events was higher in carriers of a non-O blood group (1.09).
“We demonstrate that having a non-O blood group is associated with a 9% increased risk of coronary events and a 9% increased risk of cardiovascular events, especially myocardial infarction,”
– Tessa Kole, a Master’s degree student at the University Medical Centre Groningen.
The cause of this increased risk in blood group A, B and AB may be due to these groups have greater concentrations of von Willebrand factor, a blood clotting protein which has been associated with thrombotic events. More research is needed, however, according to the researchers.
“More research is needed to identify the cause of the apparent increased cardiovascular risk in people with a non-O blood group. Obtaining more information about risk in each non-O blood group (A, B, and AB) might provide further explanations of the causes.”
Blood groups are genetic and cannot be changed. The researchers stress, however, that blood groups are not among the main cardiovascular risk factors, but other factors that we can do something about, like obesity, smoking, and lack of exercise.
Human blood is divided into one of four main blood groups (A, B, AB, and O) and is based on the presence or absence of specific antigens on red blood cells. These antigens may be proteins, carbohydrates, glycoproteins, or glycolipids, depending on the blood group system.
European Society of Cardiology (ESC) press release: Non-o blood groups associated with higher risk of heart attack