Study Finds Link Between Blood Type and Risk of Early Stroke

According to new research published in Neurology, a person’s blood type may be linked to their risk of having an early stroke. The findings could pave the way for new ways to predict and prevent strokes in young adults.

The study gathered information from 48 genetic studies, which comprised approximately 600,000 non-stroke controls and about 17,000 patients who had had strokes. The ages of all participants ranged from 18 to 59.

Two regions highly connected with an early risk of stroke were found. One matched the location of the blood type genes. People whose genomes coded for a variation of the A blood group have a 16 per cent higher risk of having a stroke before the age of 60 compared to a population with other blood types, according to the second analysis of specific blood-type genes.

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Those who carry the gene for blood group O1 have a 12 per cent lower risk. The higher risk of stroke among those with type A blood, according to the researchers, is minimal, thus there is no need for additional screening or monitoring.

“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,” said senior author and vascular neurologist Steven Kittner from the University of Maryland.

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