Blood Type

Most people focus on their heart health via diet modification and exercise in an effort to prevent cardiovascular disease. The risk of death by heart disease is very real; it remains one of the leading causes of fatalities, according to the World Health Organization.

Even with the best physical care, there are other things that are out of your control which can put you at extreme risk of a cardiovascular event. In fact, research has shown that your blood type can actually put you at extreme risk of a heart attack.

4. Blood Type and Heart Attack

Heart Attack

In a recent study of 400,000 people published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, it was found that people with blood types A or B had only a combined 8 percent increased risk of a heart attack.

In an earlier study from 2017, research was carried out by the European Society of Cardiology. The total number of people who participated in the study was 1.36 million. Their results showed that individuals with non-O negative blood types had a 9 percent increase in suffering a serious cardiovascular event.

Out of all of the blood types, those with blood type B might be at the highest risk of a heart attack. Individuals with type B seemed to have a 15 percent increased risk of myocardial infarction compared to those with type O.

3. Blood Type A and Heart Failure

Heart Failure

Individuals with blood type A were shown to have a 11 percent higher risk of developing heart failure. Heart failure develops slowly compared to a heart attack, which can strike suddenly and with little warning. Although, after sustaining a heart attack, an individual might go on to develop heart failure.

At this point, researchers have several theories about why blood type matters when it comes to a heightened risk of heart attack or heart failure. They theorize that non-O blood types might be at increased risk of developing dangerous blood clots. Without a doubt, blood clots contribute to heart attack and are usually the leading cause of the cardiac event. The blood clot blocks the coronary artery, leaving the heart muscle starved for life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients. When this happens, a heart attack occurs.

2. Studies About Heart Attack and Blood Type


In the 2017 study, researchers stated that non-blood group carriers had “greater concentrations of von Willebrand factor, a blood-clotting protein which has been associated with thrombotic events.”

Stephen Kimmel, MD, MSCE, director of Cardiovascular Epidemiology in the Department of Medicine at Penn and Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and senior author on the ASH abstract stated about the 2017 study, “The Framingham study has a lot of advantages: it’s large, and it has a long follow-up period – 38 years.”

He went on to say, “It has incredibly rich information about other cardiac risk factors, factors that one would want to examine to ensure the effects of a blood group if there was one, were independent of additional cardiac risk factors.”

There are perhaps other things that need to be further explored about how blood group alters propensity for cardiac disease. Or, maybe with a better understanding of a biomarker related to the mechanism, that might be a more powerful method of predicting future cardiovascular events.

Findings from the 2021 study published in January also shared the same theory about non-O blood types being at higher risk of a heart attack. In fact, the study showed that people with type A and type B blood had a 44 percent chance of developing thrombosis, which is the formation of blood clots.

1. Blood Type in America

Without a doubt, blood type O is the most common type of blood in the US. Those with type O blood type include:

  • 45 percent of whites
  • 51 percent of African Americans
  • 57 percent of Hispanics
  • 40 percent of Asians

Of all the blood types, AB is extremely rare, with only 4 percent of whites and African Americans having this type. Two percent of Hispanics and 7 percent of Asians have this unusual blood type.

In the analysis, their study found that.

  • 23 percent of people with AB blood type develop heart disease (this could be due to the relationship between blood type AB and inflammation)
  • 5 percent with type A have a risk of a heart attack
  • 11 percent of people with type B have a risk of a cardiac event


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