Blood type is linked to the risk of early stroke, according to an American study published in August 2022 in the journal Neurology.
The number of people suffering from an early stroke is increasing. These people are more likely to die from it, and survivors potentially face decades of disability. Despite this, there is little research on the causes of early strokes.“Said Steven J. Kittner, professor of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, co-lead author.
Kittner and his colleagues performed a meta-analysis of 48 studies on genetics and ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the brain. These studies included a total of 17,000 people with stroke and nearly 600,000 healthy people who had never had a stroke for comparison.
They then examined all the chromosomes collected in order to identify genetic variants associated with stroke and found a link between early stroke, i.e. stroke occurring before the age of 60, and the area of the chromosome that includes the gene that determines whether a blood type is A, AB, B or O.
People with blood type A had a 16% higher risk of having an early stroke than those in other groups. Those in group O had a 12% lower risk compared to the other groups. People with early or late stroke were also more likely to have blood type B compared to controls.
The association between blood type and late-onset strokes was much weaker than that found for early strokes, says co-lead author Braxton D. Mitchell.
The increased risk was very modest and people with blood type A should not worry about having an early stroke or engage in further medical screening or testing based on this finding, the researchers point out.
We still don’t know why blood type A confers a higher risk, but it probably has something to do with blood clotting factors, such as platelets and the cells that line blood vessels, as well as other other circulating proteins, all of which play a role in the development of blood clotssays Kittner. Previous studies suggest that people with blood type A have a slightly higher risk of developing blood clots in the legs, called deep vein thrombosis. “
We clearly need further follow-up studies to clarify the mechanisms of increased stroke risk“, he added.
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Psychomedia with sources: University of Maryland, Neurology.
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