People with blood types A, B, or AB appear to have a higher risk for coronary heart disease when compared to those with blood type O, according to new research published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, a journal maintained by the American Heart Association— a national voluntary health agency that works to help reduce disability and death from cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Study participants with the rarest blood type — AB, found in about 7 percent of the U.S. population — had the highest increased heart disease risk at 23 percent. Those with type B had an 11 percent increased risk, and those with type A had a 5 percent increased risk. Approximately 43 percent of Americans possess blood type O.
“While people cannot change their blood type, our findings may help physicians better understand who is at risk for developing heart disease,” stated Lu Qi, M.D., Ph.D., the study’s senior author and an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
Knowing your blood type can be an important part of staying healthy and avoiding heart disease, Qi said. “It’s good to know your blood type the same way you should know your cholesterol or blood pressure numbers,” he said. “If you know you’re at higher risk, you can reduce the risk by adopting a healthier lifestyle, such as eating right, exercising and not smoking.”
The study’s findings are based on an investigation of two large, well-known U.S. studies — 62,073 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 27,428 adults from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Participants were between ages 30 and 75, and both groups were followed for 20 years or more.
Read More: at the American heart Association’s website — Heart.org and follow them on Twitter @HeartNews.