People who do not have the blood type O are at higher risk of a heart attack and stroke, according to new research.
The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress and stated that the increased risk for people with blood types A, B and AB is thought to be because of increased clotting proteins in the non-O variants.
The study’s researchers say these findings could help doctors determine a patient’s risk of heart disease and prescribe the right treatment going forward.
For the study, researchers looked at past studies involving 1.3m people and found that 15 in 1,000 people with a non-O blood group suffered a heart attack, compared to 14 in 1,000 people with blood group O.
While the increased risk may sound small, when applied to the whole population it takes on much greater significance.
Previous has research also found that people with the rarest blood group – AB – were the most vulnerable, being 23% more likely to suffer heart disease.
Lead author Tessa Kole, a Master’s degree student at the University Medical Centre Groningen, the Netherlands, said: “In future, blood group should be considered in risk assessment for cardiovascular prevention, together with cholesterol, age, sex and systolic blood pressure. It could be that people with an A blood group should have a lower treatment threshold for dyslipidaemia or hypertension, for example.”
Heart disease is also known to be hereditary, but the Heart Foundation says the greatest risk factor is associated with lifestyle. They recommend quitting smoking, regular exercise and a healthy diet as they best ways to reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke.