Blood type and cardiovascular disease (heart disease)
Cardiovascular disease is a term used to describe a range of specific conditions that affect the heart. It is an umbrella term for heart disease and includes conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart attacks, arrhythmias (heart rhythm issues) and other heart defects.
A study conducted in 2012 at Harvard University found that people who fell into the AB blood type had an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Type O’s on the other hand, could thank their genes as their risk of developing heart disease was reportedly 23% lower than the other blood types. According to the authors of the study, specific blood groups can be linked to greater rates of inflammation which could, in turn, link to an increased risk of heart disease.
Other research has linked type A with greater levels of bad cholesterol, known as LDL (low density lipoprotein).
Cholesterol is essential fat that the cells in the body need to function. Cholesterol can collect in the walls of the blood vessels and result in plaque build-up and blockages, thus raising the chances of a heart attack or other heart conditions. It is transported in the blood and attaches to proteins known as lipoproteins. These lipoproteins act as carriers of the cholesterol and allow it to get to where it needs to go in order to aid in the functioning of the body. The liver makes some cholesterol, but it also comes from the foods we put in our bodies.
Not all kinds of cholesterol are bad. High density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as a good cholesterol. However, as mentioned, low density lipoprotein (LDL), is known as the bad type of cholesterol. It aids in the build-up of plaque in the arteries which can lead to strokes or heart attacks due to the blockages in the arteries that form a sudden blood clot – stopping the blood from getting to the vital organs.
If you fall under the blood type AB, then you do not need to fret. Managing the risks of heart disease can be done with ease through lifestyle changes and medication. No matter what your blood type, it is important to always have your cholesterol levels checked by your doctor. Bear in mind that just because you may have type O blood, this does not mean you are immune to heart disease, but research shows that your chances of developing heart disease are lower.