Do your blood type and age determine your risk of stroke? It’s a question that has been asked for years, but now new research has revealed a clear connection between the two. In a recent study, published in Neurology, researchers found that people with one of the type A blood groups are more likely to have a stroke before the age of 60 compared with people with other blood types.
This finding could be alarming, but it’s important to put it into context. Strokes are most common in those over 65, and the additional risk of stroke in people with type A blood is small. So, what does this mean for those with type A blood? And what other factors may contribute to stroke risk? Read on to find out.
The study included nearly 17,000 people with a stroke and nearly 600,000 non-stroke controls between the ages of 18 and 59. After a genome-wide search, two locations were strongly associated with an earlier risk of stroke. One was the spot where genes for blood type sit. A second analysis of specific types of blood-type gene then found people whose genome coded for a variation of the A group had a 16 percent higher chance of a stroke before the age 60, compared with a population of other blood types.
The researchers noted, however, that the additional risk of stroke in people with type A blood is small, so there is no need for extra vigilance or screening in this group. What’s more, the increased risk of stroke in the type A blood group became insignificant in the late-onset stroke group, suggesting that strokes that happen early in life may have a different mechanism compared to those that occur later on.
The study also found that people with type B blood were around 11 percent more likely to have a stroke compared to non-stroke controls regardless of their age. Previous studies suggest that the part of the genome that codes for blood type, called the ‘ABO locus’, is associated with coronary artery calcification, which restricts blood flow, and heart attack. The genetic sequence for A and B blood types have also been associated with a slightly higher risk of blood clots in veins, called venous thrombosis.
So, what does all of this mean for those with type A blood? While the study findings may seem alarming, the additional risk of stroke in people with type A blood is small. This means that there is no need for extra vigilance or screening in this group. However, it is important to be aware of your risk factors, such as age, lifestyle, and family history, and to make sure you are taking steps to reduce your risk of stroke.
By understanding the link between blood type and stroke risk, we can help to identify and address potential risk factors. This could help to reduce the number of people who experience a stroke before the age of 60.