How your blood type could predict your risk of dying from a stroke

BLOOD can determine a lot about the state of your health.

And now, scientists have revealed that the red stuff might also predict your risk of a deadly condition.


Blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in a liquid called plasmaCredit: Getty – Contributor

Researchers in the US found people with blood type A are 16 per cent more likely to have a stroke before the age of 60.

Blood groups B and AB have little to no impact on stroke risk, the research also showed.

While young people with type O blood are 12 per cent less likely to suffer a stroke.

Analysis of 7,000 stroke patients and nearly 600,000 healthy people from different studies found a strong link between blood group and risk of early stroke.

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A stroke is a life-threatening brain attack, which occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off.

According to the NHS, there are over 100,000 people experience strokes every year in the UK and they’re responsible for over 38,000 deaths.

And there are nearly 1.3 million people living in the UK who have survived a stroke – many living with disabilities.

Neurologist Steven Kittner, from the University of Maryland and senior author of the study said: “We still don’t know why blood type A would confer a higher risk.

“But it likely has something to do with blood-clotting factors like platelets and cells that line the blood vessels as well as other circulating proteins, all of which play a role in the development of blood clots.”

Previous research has suggested that those with type A blood have a slightly higher risk of developing blood clots in the legs – known as deep vein thrombosis. 

Another study, found that those with AB blood were more likely to catch the coronavirus and die from it.

This paper was published in Neurology.

What are the symptoms?

What blood types are there and what do they mean?

Blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in a liquid called plasma.

Your blood group is identified by antibodies and antigens in the blood.

There are 4 main blood groups (types of blood) – A, B, AB and O. 

Your blood group is determined by the genes you inherit from your parents.

Each group can be either RhD positive or RhD negative, which means in total there are technically 8 blood groups

The FAST method – which stands for Face, Arms, Speech, Time – is the easiest way to remember the most common symptoms of stroke:

F = Face drooping – if one side of a person’s face is dropped or numb then ask them to smile, if it’s uneven then you should seek help.

A = Arm weakness – if one arm is weak or numb then you should ask the person to raise both arms. If one arm drifts downwards then you might need to get help

S = Speech difficulty – if a person’s speech is slurred then this could be a sign of a stroke

T = Time to call 999 – if a person has the signs above then you need to call 999 in the UK or 911 in the US for emergency care.

Other symptoms include:

  • sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • difficulty finding words
  • sudden blurred vision or loss of sight
  • sudden confusion, dizziness or unsteadiness
  • a sudden and severe headache
  • difficulty understanding what others are saying
  • difficulty swallowing

If any of these symptoms occur for less than a few hours, you could be suffering from a transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

This attack, which is sometimes known as a “mini-stroke”, indicates that there is a problem with the blood supply to your brain.

It’s important to contact your GP or local hospital if experiencing these symptoms, as they could increase your risk of stroke in the near future.

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