People with certain blood types are at higher risk of heart disease. Learn about the connection between your blood type and heart health.
While everyone has blood running through their veins, they are not all exactly the same. In fact, blood is categorized into eight different group types: A+, A-, B+, B-, O-, O+, AB+, and AB-.
Even though you may not think too much about your blood type, it turns out that it may affect your risk for certain health conditions. Depending on your blood, you may have a higher or lower risk of developing cardiovascular issues.
Blood Types Explained
The letters A, B, and O refer to the various forms of the ABO gene, each programming our blood cells differently. Blood cells may or may not have the Rh protein; if they have it, they are Rh-positive (+) or Rh-negative (-) if they don’t. Since people with type O negative have blood cells without any antigens or proteins, they are considered universal donors because anybody’s body will accept their blood in an emergency.
According to Dr. Douglas Guggenheim, a hematologist with Penn Medicine, factors such as geographical location and infections in our ancestors may have led to protective mutations, contributing to the diversity in blood types. “In short, it’s almost like the body has evolved around its environment in order to protect it as best as possible,” says Guggenheim.
Blood Type and Heart Disease
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease is more likely in people with A, B, and AB blood types. One large study shows that they have an 8% higher risk of heart attacks and a 10% higher risk of heart failure.
While the increased risk seems small, the blood clotting rates are much higher: 51% higher for deep vein thrombosis and 47% higher for pulmonary embolism. Guggenheim explains that this increase may have to do with inflammation, as the proteins in types A and B may cause more thickening in the veins and arteries.
Even though types A and B are at slightly higher risks of heart disease, type O may be more susceptible to bleeding disorders. In fact, individuals with type O may fare worse after a traumatic injury due to blood loss.
Blood types may play a role in your heart health, but lifestyle habits are still the main factor in determining heart health. In other words, you should practice healthy habits regardless of what blood type you may have.
In addition to eating healthily and exercising regularly, you can take supplements like L-arginine Plus to give your health an extra boost. Its ingredients are efficient at promoting circulation, blood pressure, cholesterol, and more. If you’re ready to give your heart the supports it needs, then focus on living a healthy life and take L-arginine Plus.