A study by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston found that your blood group can help determine your risk of heart disease. People with blood groups A and B are more at risk, whereas people with group AB, which is the rarest group, are most susceptible to the condition.
But people with blood group O, the most common blood type, benefit from some natural protection against heart disease. The new study based on an analysis of two large US health and lifestyle studies, involved more than ninety thousand men and women was conducted for more than twenty years. Collectively more than four thousand people developed heart disease during study period.
The researchers also taken into account the age and other factors such as diet, drinking and family history of heart attacks that could contribute to heart disease. The study compared blood groups and heart disease incidence but did not analyze the complex biological mechanisms that were involved.
The study found that people with blood group B were eleven percent more likely to suffer heart disease, people with group A were five percent at increased risk and people with group AB were twenty-three percent more prone to suffer from heart disease. Researchers believe people with group O may benefit from a substance that is thought to assist blood flow and reduce clotting.
There is evidence that blood group A is associated with higher levels of bad type of cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL), which is more likely to fu up the arteries. Blood group AB is linked to inflammation, which also plays an important role in artery damage.
Lead researcher Prof Lu Qi, explained while people cannot change their blood type, their findings may help physicians better understand who is at risk for developing heart disease. It is good to know your blood type the same way you should know your cholesterol or blood pressure numbers.
If you know you’re at higher risk, you can reduce the risk by adopting a healthier lifestyle, such as eating right, exercising and not smoking. It would be interesting to study whether people with different blood types respond differently to lifestyle intervention, added Prof Qi. The study findings were published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.