Blood type is something we don’t get to choose. We are born with it, and many of us don’t think about it much. In fact, many people don’t even know their blood type. It’s never been more important to learn about, as scientists have recently discovered that our blood type may increase our risk of developing numerous diseases, some of which can be life-threatening.
Read on to learn which blood types are more at risk of which diseases.
According to research published in The Annals of Internal Medicine in March 2021, some blood types are more or less at risk of infection from coronavirus than others.
The research showed that people with type O blood are 12% less likely to contract COVID-19. They also have a 13% lower risk of experiencing severe symptoms or dying if they do test positive.
Another study conducted by Harvard University and Oklahoma Blood Institute found that people with type A blood are more likely to contract COVID-19. It is believed that the virus’s spike proteins attach to this type’s blood cells more easily due to their surface shape.
A study published in BMC Cancer in May 2021 explored the connection between certain blood types and cancer risk. The scientists compared people with AB and O blood types. The results showed people with AB blood are 34% more likely to contract esophageal cancer.
When it comes to stomach cancer, the results indicated that people with type AB had a 44% higher risk, while people with type A are 37% more likely than others.
The presence of the ABO gene means you’re at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and all non-O blood types have it. This gene makes red blood cells stickier, which presents a problem for optimal blood flow.
Research indicates that people with A or B blood types have a 51% higher risk of developing blood clots in their veins and a 47% higher risk of blood clots in their lungs.
Some blood types put you at higher risk of dementia. A study published in Neurology researched all blood types and their relation to dementia. The results were astonishing: People with AB blood type are 82% more likely to develop memory and thinking problems that could lead to dementia.
The potential culprit for this is factor VII. It’s a protein our livers produce that helps the blood clotting process. Elevated levels of factor VII are connected to the onset of dementia, and people with the AB blood type have much higher levels of this protein than others.
Blood type AB is rare; only about 4% of people in the U.S. have it.
Scientists at Karolinska Institute in Sweden investigated how bleeding disorders relate to different blood types and determined the highest risk. The results showed people with type A blood are more likely to develop blood clots. Additionally, those with O-type blood have increased chances of developing bleeding disorders, such as gastric and duodenal ulcers.
The results also indicate women with type O blood are more likely to develop high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Some Blood Types Put You at a Higher Risk of Diseases
Although we can’t control or change our blood type, we can choose how to act regarding our increased risk of certain diseases. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, eating right, and exercising, we can stack the odds in our favor, at least to some degree.