Your Blood Type Matters, Especially When It Comes to Your Heart Health

We all have one, and science suggests our blood kind could make a distinction when it comes to how healthy our hearts are

You would not understand it by trying on the floor, however coursing by your veins each second of day-after-day are tiny variations that categorize your blood into one among these teams: A+, A-, B+, B-, O-, O+, AB+ and AB-. Unless you’ve got donated blood, got a transfusion or discovered throughout pregnancy, possibly you’ve got by no means thought twice about your blood kind and what it means on your well being.

Ongoing analysis into blood kind suggests it might matter greater than we give it credit score for — no less than when assessing threat for sure well being circumstances, particularly heart disease. These invisible variations within the blood could give some folks an edge at staving off cardiovascular issues, and will go away others extra vulnerable.

Read additionally: How to Check Heart Health at Home Without Fancy Equipment 

What does blood kind imply, and the way are they completely different?

The letters A, B and O characterize varied types of the ABO gene, which program our blood cells in another way to kind the completely different blood teams. If you’ve got kind AB blood, for instance, your physique is programmed to produce A and B antigens on purple blood cells. An individual with kind O blood would not produce any antigens.  

Blood is claimed to be “optimistic” or “unfavourable” primarily based on whether or not there are proteins on the purple blood cells. If your blood has proteins, you are Rhesus, or Rh, positive

Photo illustration of a doctor sitting in front of a large blood droplet with the blood types surrounding it

The ABO system is one of the best recognized means of classifying blood sorts.


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People with kind O- blood are thought-about “universal donors” as a result of their blood would not have any antigens or proteins, which means anyone’s physique shall be ready to settle for it in an emergency.

But why are there completely different blood sorts? Researchers do not totally know, however elements comparable to where someone’s ancestors are from and previous infections which spurred protecting mutations within the blood could have contributed to the variety, in accordance to Dr. Douglas Guggenheim, a hematologist with Penn Medicine. People with kind O blood could get sicker with cholera, for instance, whereas folks with kind A or B blood could also be extra seemingly to expertise blood clotting points. While our blood cannot sustain with the completely different organic or viral threats going round in actual time, it might replicate what’s occurred up to now.

“In brief, it is virtually just like the physique has advanced round its surroundings so as to shield it as finest as doable,” Guggenheim stated.

The blood sorts most at-risk for coronary heart illness 

Monitors used during cardiac surgery

People with kind O blood could have a decrease threat of cardiovascular occasions.


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People with kind A, kind B or kind AB blood are more likely than people with type O to have a coronary heart assault or expertise coronary heart failure, in accordance to the American Heart Association. 

While the elevated threat is small (sorts A or B had a mixed 8% increased threat of coronary heart assault and 10% elevated threat of coronary heart failure, in accordance to one large study) the distinction in blood clotting charges is far increased, per the AHA. People in the identical research with kind A and B blood have been 51% extra seemingly to develop deep vein thrombosis and 47% extra seemingly to develop a pulmonary embolism, that are extreme blood clotting issues which might additionally enhance the danger of coronary heart failure.

A cause for this elevated threat, in accordance to Guggenheim, might need to do with irritation that occurs within the our bodies of individuals with kind A, kind B or kind AB blood. The proteins current in kind A and sort B blood could trigger extra “blockage” or “thickening” within the veins and arteries, main to an elevated threat of clotting and coronary heart illness. 

Guggenheim additionally thinks this may increasingly describe the anecdotal (however at present inconclusive) lower in threat of extreme COVID-19 illness in folks with kind O blood, which has inspired research. Severe COVID-19 illness usually causes coronary heart issues, blood clotting and different cardiovascular points.

Blood bag for transfusions

There are 4 essential blood teams (forms of blood) – A, B, AB and O. 


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Other penalties of blood kind

People with kind O blood get pleasure from a barely decrease threat of coronary heart illness and blood clotting, however they could be extra vulnerable to hemorrhaging or bleeding issues. This could also be very true after childbirth, in accordance to a research on postpartum blood loss, which discovered an elevated threat in ladies with kind O blood.

People with kind O blood can also fare worse after a traumatic harm due to elevated blood loss, in accordance to a research published in Critical Care.

Other analysis has discovered folks with kind AB blood could be at an increased risk for cognitive impairment when put next to folks with kind O. Cognitive impairment contains issues like hassle remembering, focusing or making selections. 

Should I alter my life-style primarily based on my blood kind? 

While analysis obtainable now exhibits that blood kind can tip the size by way of somebody’s threat of creating coronary heart illness, large elements comparable to food regimen, train and even the extent of air pollution you are uncovered to in your group are the main gamers in figuring out coronary heart well being. 

Guggenheim says that for sufferers attempting to hold their coronary heart wholesome, there is not any particular advice that he’d make apart from a superb heart-healthy food regimen that lowers irritation, no matter somebody’s blood kind. 

healthy foods arranged in the shape of a cartoon heart

Lean proteins, wholesome fat, fruits, greens and complete grains are all a part of a heart-healthy diet.


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But, he notes, future analysis may provide extra definitive methods medical doctors deal with sufferers primarily based on their blood kind. All elements thought-about equally, a affected person with wholesome levels of cholesterol and sort A blood could profit from taking aspirin every day whereas it may not be obligatory for an individual in the identical boat with kind O blood. 

“A well-balanced, heart-healthy food regimen generally goes to be what any doctor goes to advocate, and I might say that ABO would not change that,” Guggenheim stated. 

“I do not assume there is a protecting profit from simply having kind O blood that contributes to being scot-free,” he added.

More on your wellness

The info contained on this article is for instructional and informational functions solely and isn’t meant as well being or medical recommendation. Always seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier relating to any questions you’ll have a few medical situation or well being targets.

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