Blood type tied to heart disease risk
A new study published in the journal BMC Medicine suggests that people whose blood type is A, B or AB have a higher risk of heart disease and shorter life spans compared to people who have type O blood.
For the study, researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health followed about 50,000 middle-age and elderly people in northeastern Iran for an average of seven years. They found that people with non-O blood types were 9 percent more likely to die during the study for any health-related reason, and 15 percent more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, compared with people with blood type O. The researchers also found that people with non-O blood types had a 55 percent increased risk of gastric cancer – a disease common in northeastern Iran – compared to people with type O blood.
While researchers don’t have a conclusive reason for these results, several factors may put non-O blood types at greater risk for certain diseases. For instance, people with non-O blood types have an increased tendency to form blood clots, and this higher coagulation might lead to more heart problems.
Researchers emphasize that people should not be overly concerned by the study’s results, noting that blood type is just one factor among many that contributes to a person’s overall health and emphasizing that a healthy lifestyle remains the key factor in how long you live.