Blood Type Tied to Stroke Risk

Okay, I admit I almost had a heart attack when I read the news last week that your blood type might just be an indicator as to your natural, pre-wired, inclination to have a stroke or not.

Up until last week, I had been a proud member of the “AB Positive” blood group.  We are a rare breed making up only 3% of the blood types.  We are commonly known as the “universal recipient” where we can take any blood type in a transfusion and not be harmed.  Few know that AB-positive types are also universal plasma donors.

With that innate specialness, it now appears, also comes a dire risk.  We have an increased chance of stroke — 26% to be petulantly precise — and that’s quite a whopper to  swallow even in these preliminary reports. Here are the details of the gasping research:

The conventional stroke risks such as hypertension and smoking are well known, but researchers have now found that blood type, particularly the ABO blood group, is also related to the risk of stroke.

In two cohorts with more than two million person-years of follow-up, men and women in the AB blood group were very significantly associated with a 26% increase for the risk of developing stroke compared with those with type O blood (95% CI 1.11 to 1.44), Lu Qi, MD, PhD, from Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues found.

Compared with women with type O blood, women with type B had a marginally significant 15% higher risk of stroke, according to the study presented at the American Heart Association meeting here.

Now I’m even happier I am Vegan and on Benicar and I know I must continue to exercise and eat right to try to tamp down my stroke risk — and I also must know that if I’m one of the massive 26%-ers, I’ll need every advantage available and to try to make a full recovery.

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