Skip to content

If You Have This Blood Type, Be Concerned For Your Heart

What to know about your blood type and heart disease, according to experts. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States and lifestyle choices like smoking, poor diet and not staying physically active drastically increase the risk. But according to studies, so does your blood type. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Sean Marchese, MS, RN, a registered nurse at The Mesothelioma Center with a background in oncology clinical trials and over 15 years of direct patient care experience who reveals which blood type is at greater risk for heart disease. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Blood Types that are Commonly Associated with Heart Disease

lab assistant holding test tube with blood while standing in

Marchese says, "A Harvard study indicated that people with A, B or AB blood types carry a higher risk for coronary heart disease than those with type O blood. The exact reason is still under investigation, but it may have to do with the von Willebrand protein associated with clotting in non-O blood types."


People with AB Blood Type Have a Greater Risk, According to a Study

Female Technician holding blood tube test, a rack of blood samples Tubes of patients in laboratory in the hospital.

Marchese shares, "The increase in risk is about 5% for type A, 11% for type B, and 23% for type AB. The overall increase in heart disease risk compared to type O is about 6%," according to Penn Medicine News.  


Change Lifestyle Behaviors to Reduce Further Risk

no smoking sign

"A risk factor does not automatically mean you will develop heart disease, but it can compound with other factors that make it more likely," Marchese emphasizes. "Smoking, alcohol use and lack of exercise contribute to poor heart health. If you have a non-O blood type, consider improving your habits to include more time for exercise and heart-healthy foods."


Talk to Your Doctor About Your Heart Health

woman consulting with her female doctor

Marchese explains, "Some primary physicians don't automatically check for blood type and may not have that information on file. Let your healthcare team know if you know your blood type from another source, such as a blood donation. You should also discuss your concerns with your doctor and explain that in addition to a non-O blood type, you have a history of smoking, diabetes, heart palpitations or other potential risks of heart disease. Your doctor can provide excellent resources for improving heart health based on your situation. They'll also be more aware of your heart disease risk and screen you more closely during checkups."


Monitor Blood Pressure and Cholesterol at Home

Senior female gynecologist checking woman with blood pressure gauge in hospital.

Marchese states, "If your vital signs are often borderline and you have heart disease risk factors in addition to non-O blood type, consider routine home monitoring using over-the-counter tests. Automatic blood pressure cuffs and digital cholesterol test kits are available at most pharmacies without a prescription and can help you keep an eye on your health. You can also record the results in a journal or on a smartphone app to help track trends. This practice makes it easier for your doctor to gauge your overall risk for heart disease based on your health patterns between doctor visits." 

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather