If you’re not sure, you may be missing out on an important health clue.
Although you can’t change your blood type, however, knowing about added risks can still be helpful. Here are several ways your blood type could be affecting your health and what to do about it.
1. Heart disease.
Blood type relates to several diseases including heart attack, stroke, and venous thromboembolism.
In fact on average non O blood groups have a 60-80% higher risk than people with blood group O for developing dangerous blood clots, the kind that can break off and travel to the lungs with sometimes devastating results. Similarly, people with blood types A, B or AB are at a greater risk for coronary heart disease than people with blood type O. Research has linked non O blood to greater inflammation, which may help explain the connection.
Don’t fret if you have a blood type other than O. Managing heart-related risk factors like high blood pressure and diabetes with lifestyle habits and prescribed medications can tip the scales in the opposite direction, helping keep your ticker in tip-top shape.
2. Memory problems.
People with the AB blood type were 82% more likely than other blood types to develop thinking and memory problems that lead to dementia. Blood type has been related to diseases like stroke that have a vascular basis so we thought that maybe vascular issues contribute to memory problems.
Though the effect is still small. But it’s important to keep as healthy as possible by controlling high blood pressure, not smoking, staying physically fit and having a healthy diet. Each of these can slow the development of memory problems. It can also help to keep your brain active through things like reading, doing puzzles, and social interaction.
3. Gastro-intestinal conditions.
People with blood type A have a higher risk of gastric cancer.
People with type O, on the other hand, are more likely than others to develop peptic ulcer. Since both conditions are associated with a bacteria called h pylori infection, it is believed that the findings have to do with different susceptibility to bacterial infections associated with the blood types.
There’s little we can do about this regarding gastric cancer, but the risk associated with blood group is actually too small to make much of a difference. Nevertheless, everyone should try to avoid the three most important risk factors for many diseases: smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and being overweight.
Type O blood may help ward off this disease. You can get malaria when an infected mosquito bites you.
The parasite that causes it has a harder time attaching itself to type O blood cells. Always sleep under treated mosquito nets.
Stress boosts your body’s level of cortisol, the stress hormone. People with type A blood tend to have more cortisol, anyway. So you may have a harder time dealing with stressful situations.
Your blood type can’t predict whether you’ll get pregnant, but it may play a role. In one study, women with low numbers of healthy eggs were more likely to have type O blood than any other type.
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