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If You Have This Blood Type, Be Worried About Your Health

Knowing your blood type could be vital in an emergency, but also gives you insight.

Your blood type can reveal much more about your health than you think! According to Penn Medicine and the National Library of Medicine, certain blood types are associated more with specific diseases, but don't panic just yet. Choices like diet, fitness and good habits play a major role in health as well, so while you may be at a slightly increased risk, keeping a healthy lifestyle makes a difference. Penn Medicine physician Dr. Douglas Guggenheim, MD, Hematology, Medical Oncology said, "While your blood type may put you at a higher risk for certain conditions, nothing is definitive. Being aware of how your blood type may impact your health is a good start, but it's also just as important to see your physician for regular check-ups and maintain a healthy lifestyle." Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Blood Type ABO

Medical equipment. Blood test

The National Library of Medicine says, "The susceptibility to various diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, infections and hematologic disorders, cognitive disorders, circulatory diseases, metabolic diseases, and malaria, has been linked with ABO blood groups. Moreover, blood group AB individuals were found to be susceptible to an increased risk of cognitive impairment which was independent of geographic region, age, race, and gender. Disorders such as hypertension, obesity, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and diabetes were also more prevalent in individuals with cognitive impairment." The site added, "Several studies related to the ABO phenotype show that genetically determined human ABO blood groups were correspondingly linked with an increased risk of various infectious and noninfectious diseases. However, further investigations are needed particularly on the molecular level of ABO blood groups and their association with various diseases."


Blood Type O and Stomach Cancer

A male scientist/doctor holding a test tube marked Blood Test with group AB circled.

The National Library of Medicine explains, "Stomach Cancer is the fourth most public cancer worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer deaths; reliable studies since the 1950s have shown that blood type A persons have about a 20% higher risk of stomach cancer than blood type O individuals. The 2012 metadata analysis showed that type A persons had an odds ratio of 1.11 and type O persons had an odds ratio of 0.91 for gastric cancer; in addition, blood type A persons had significantly greater rates of H. pylori infection than non-A blood type victims (odds ratio = 1.42). This is important because a current study of ABO blood types and H. pylori found that the risk of advanced precancerous gastric lesions was considerably affected by the presence or absence in the bacterial DNA of two SNPs in the cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA), recognized as CagA-positive and CagA-negative strains. Thus, ABO antigens on the gastric epithelium are binding sites for the H. pylori bacterium, which then injects CagA virulence protein into the cellular cytoplasm." 


Heart Attack and Heart Disease

Man having a heart attack

Penn Medicine reports, "It may seem obvious that your blood type is related to your heart, since your heart pumps blood to the rest of your body. But your blood type can actually put you at a higher risk for conditions such as heart attack and heart disease. This is because of a gene called the ABO gene — a gene that's present in people with A, B, or AB blood types. The only blood type that doesn't have this gene is Type O. If you have the ABO gene and you live in an area with high pollution levels, you may be at a greater risk of heart attack than those who don't have the gene."

Dr. Guggenheim said, "The ABO gene can also increase your risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD develops when the arteries that supply blood to and from your heart harden and narrow — which can cause a heart attack if they become blocked."



prostate cancer

Penn Medicine states, "There are plenty of factors that have been connected with a higher risk of cancer, and it can sometimes be hard to know which ones to look into more seriously than others. However, people with Type A blood have been found to have a higher risk of stomach cancer specifically, compared to those with other blood types. The ABO gene may play a role with a heightened cancer risk, as well. This gene has been connected to other cancers, including lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, liver, and cervical cancers. This correlation has been studied for more than 60 years, and while research continues to show a correlation, there is no definitive explanation as to why the ABO gene may put you at a higher risk for some cancers."


Memory Loss

Stressed middle 60s aged worker woman massaging head suffering of headache in home office.

According to Penn Medicine, "The ABO gene is connected with brain function and memory loss. People who have blood types A, B, and AB are up to 82 percent more likely to develop cognition and memory problems — which can lead to dementia — compared to those with Type O. One possible reason for this memory loss is the fact that blood type can lead to things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. These conditions can cause cognitive impairment and dementia. Blood type has been connected with stroke, too, which can occur when the blood flow to the brain is disrupted."

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
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