If You Have This Blood Type, Be Worried About Cardiovascular Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, so knowing the signs and symptoms is crucial for both prevention and treatment. "My job as a cardiologist isn't just to treat people when a problem occurs. I am also trying to prevent problems and help people make the best decisions about their treatment options," says interventional cardiologist Grant Reed, MD. "A lot of what I do is counseling patients through the decision-making process, and dispel any concerns or anxieties, because their heart is obviously so important." Here are the blood types most commonly associated with 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.
What Causes Heart Disease?
Aside from blood type and genetics, there are lifestyle factors strongly correlated with heart disease such as smoking, eating unhealthy food, a sedentary lifestyle, and more. "A healthy lifestyle, especially when started at a young age, goes a long way to preventing cardiovascular disease," advises Harvard Health. "Lifestyle changes and medications can nip heart-harming trends, like high blood pressure or high cholesterol, in the bud before they cause damage. And a variety of medications, operations, and devices can help support the heart if damage occurs."
Heart Disease and Abdominal Fat
Excessive belly fat—known as visceral fat—can increase your risk of heart disease. "There are many studies showing that an unfavorable waist-to-hip ratio is highly associated with diabetes and cardiovascular risk," says Dr. Barbara Kahn, the George Richards Minot Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
COVID-19 and Heart Disease
COVID-19 has been shown to impact heart health, doctors warn. "A lot of my family and friends have gotten COVID earlier this year and last year," says Dr. Siddharth Singh, director of the post-COVID-19 cardiology clinic at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. "What I'm telling them is just to be a bit more vigilant when it comes to their cardiovascular health and making sure their cardiovascular risk factors are well-controlled. Obviously, if one is having chest pain, shortness of breath or palpitations, that should not be ignored."
When Should You See a Cardiologist?
If you're experiencing chest pain or discomfort, don't hesitate to get help. "People experience this differently," says Dr. Reed. "These symptoms often feel like indigestion, so they might write them off. Having chest pain or discomfort is a very serious symptom that patients should not ignore. They should seek medical attention, whether it be through a primary care physician to start, or a cardiologist… The tipping point is different in everyone — but if your symptoms aren't going away, seek medical attention. You know your body. We commonly have aches and pains. But if something's out of the ordinary, if you can tell something just isn't right, don't take a chance. Seek medical attention."
Blood Types Linked to Heart Disease
Blood types A, B, or AB are most strongly associated with heart disease, doctors warn. "While people cannot change their blood type, our findings may help physicians better understand who is at risk for developing heart disease," says Lu Qi, Ph.D. "It's good to know your blood type in the same way you should know your cholesterol or blood pressure numbers. 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."
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
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