Blood Type Tied to Stroke Risk
By: Alere Staff
Publication Date: Tue, 05/01/2012
Do you know your blood type? Researchers have discovered that among the four blood types: O, A, B, AB - one carries a higher risk for stroke. The most common blood type is O followed by A, B and AB. While AB is the rarest, it has been linked to the highest risk of stroke in people with AB blood type. In fact, a study found a 26% increase in risk of stroke for both men and women with AB blood type over those with type O blood.1 The study was presented at the 2011 American Heart Association international meeting.
In addition to type AB increasing the risk of stroke, B blood type in women showed a 15% increase in stroke over men.1 The traditional factors with a role in stroke risk were adjusted for including: age, smoking, body mass index (BMI), alcohol intake, physical activity, aspirin use, ethnicity, family history of coronary heart disease, history of hypertension and high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes, menopausal status, and postmenopausal hormone use.
There was an increase in ischemic stroke (stroke caused by blockage of a vessel) over a hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in the brain) in the blood type study. The important question following a study like this is what to do with this information considering no one can change their blood type. The answer lies in controlling the risk factors within your control: stop smoking, manage your weight and take medications prescribed for you exactly as they are prescribed. If you take warfarin for stroke prevention – keep all blood test appointments or, better yet – become a patient self-tester and check your warfarin blood levels in the privacy of your home.
- Qi L, et al. ABO blood group and risk of stroke in US men and women. AHA 2011. Abstract 16887.