People with non-O blood group (A,B and AB) are at higher risk of heart attack, according to a new study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress. The study involved 1,362,569 participants from 11 prospective cohorts and focused on instances of heart attacks, coronary artery disease, ischaemic heart disease, heart failure, cardiovascular events and cardiovascular mortality. Within the overall test group, there were a total of 23,514 cardiovascular events. When the researchers analyzed the associated between blood type of person and such events, they found that people with non-O blood groups were at higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular events. However, the analysis of fatal coronary events did not yield any significant difference between people with O and non-O blood groups.
“We demonstrate that having a non-O blood group is associated with a 9% increased risk of coronary events and a 9% increased risk of cardiovascular events, especially myocardial infarction,” says Tessa Kole, lead author of the study. The cause behind the increased risk of heart attack or stroke in people with A, B and AB blood groups has yet to be fully determined, but researchers believe it may be due to having greater concentrations of a clotting agent known as von Willebrand factor in non-O blood groups. Further, blood group A is known to have higher cholesterol. Also galectin-3, a protein linked to inflammation and worse outcomes in heart failure patients, is higher in those with a non-O blood group.