Studies have found that your blood type may increase your risk for a heart attack. Read more about these studies and how they affect you.
Every 40 seconds, a person in the United States has a heart attack, according to the CDC. As the leading cause of death globally, keeping a healthy heart is more important than ever.
Furthermore, different health conditions and even blood types could increase your risk for heart disease.
Which Blood Types Are At Higher Risk?
In a study published by Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, those with blood groups A, B, or AB have an increased risk of developing heart disease.
In the United States, the most common blood type is O, which carries the least amount of risk. About 45% of whites, 51% of African-Americans, 57% of Hispanic/Latinx, and 40% of Asian-Americans have this blood type, according to the American Red Cross.
However, those with type AB blood, which is much rarer, have an increased risk of developing heart disease. About 4% of whites and African-Americans, 2% of Hispanics/Latinx, and 7% of Asian-Americans have this blood type.
Researcher Dr. Lu Qi, of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, shares the numbers based on two studies that followed 90,000 adults for two decades:
- Those with type AB blood are 23% more likely to develop heart disease.
- The ones with type A blood are at a 5% increased risk.
- Those with type B blood are at 11% increased risk.
Studies suggest that type A blood is linked to higher levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and that type AB blood is tied to increased inflammation, which can lead to heart disease.
How to Lower Risk
“People can’t change their blood type… but we may be able to use this information to help determine a patient’s risk for heart disease and how aggressively to treat them,” said Dr. Qi.
First, talk to your doctor. Discuss the overall risk of heart disease, which is impacted by age, sex, race or ethnicity, and family history. By assessing all factors, you can make better heart health goals.
Second, keep an eye on blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. High cholesterol can clog arteries, while diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves.
Check these regularly and take medicine if necessary to keep your heart and blood vessels working properly.
Third, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases the risk of heart disease. Staying active helps improve circulation, strengthens the heart, and lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. It also helps manage stress.
Fourth, eat a healthy diet. Limit saturated fats, high sodium foods, and added sugars.
Fruit, vegetables, and whole grains are better for a balanced diet. This includes sugar-filled and diet drinks, which increase your risk of heart disease by 20%.
Also, limit alcohol and avoid smoking, which raises your blood pressure. Proper sleep is also important because lack of it increases the risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.
Knowing which unique factors increase your risk of heart disease is important. Make a plan with your doctor and let them know of your health concerns.
Being prepared and proactive is the best way to fight against heart disease. Adding supplements to tackle heart disease can help.
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