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What does your blood type say about your health?

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Many people only think about their blood type when they need surgery or blood donation. But the role of blood groups can go beyond that, in fact, they can be an important means of knowing what might threaten our public health.

Using surveys at a large population level, the researchers found that certain blood types are associated with a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and certain cancers, says hematologist Raymond Commenzo, MD, Tufts University School of Medicine professor and medical director of the Center. Blood bank and transfusion medicine laboratory at Tufts Medical Center.

“This is not a job that can guide clinical decision making for a particular patient. But these links may provide opportunities for further research to better understand these diseases and the risks they pose in different populations,” Commenzo explains.

There are four main blood types: A, B, AB, and O. Our blood type (also known as blood groups or blood types) depends on certain antigens, which are immune-response molecules that are found on the outside of our red blood cells. For example, a person with blood type B has B antigens in their red blood cells, which means that their body recognizes other B antigens as safe and will not react to them. But if their bodies encounter A antigens from a transfused blood, for example, they will immediately try to destroy those cells, as if it were an infection. People with AB blood type have A and B antigens, while people with O blood type have neither.

It is said that blood types are inherited. This is due to variations in one gene in our body, known as the ABO gene, and we cannot change it. But studying how they affect the risk of various diseases can improve our understanding of how and why people experience various health problems.

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Studies show that people with blood type A are more likely to develop certain types of stomach cancer. Helicobacter pylori bacterial infections are more common in patients with blood type A, Commenzo says, and these infections can cause stomach ulcers, infections, and sometimes cancer. pylori may also be associated with higher rates of pancreatic cancer in blood types A, B, and AB.

These three blood types can also affect the risk of developing other types of cancer.

“For patients with blood type A, B, or AB, the ABO gene may also play a role in increasing the risk of certain cancers, especially lung, breast, colon, and cervical cancers,” Commenzo said.

But researchers are still not entirely sure how this connection occurs.

heart disease:

According to the American Heart Association, blood types A, B, and AB are associated with a greater risk of heart attack due to coronary heart disease than blood type O. In particular, people with AB blood are at the highest risk.

These blood types are also associated with higher rates of bleeding disorders.

Apoplexy:

A recent study found that people with blood type A are more likely to have a stroke before the age of 60 than people with blood type O.

More research is needed to determine the reason for this association, but researchers suggest it may have something to do with how different blood types affect clotting factors.

Mosquitoes and malaria:

In laboratory experiments, mosquitoes seem to prefer to feed on people with blood type O, although other genetic factors also play a role.

Fortunately, having type I blood helps protect people from the most severe effects of malaria, a mosquito-borne disease.

COVID-19:

In a large study of European patients, analysis showed that patients with blood type O were less likely to die from Covid-19.

“Of course, this was pre-vaccine data,” says Commenzo. “It doesn’t really translate into risk for the individual patient, because the relative risk is very small.”

Understanding how different blood types affect these risks can help improve the detection and treatment of various diseases at the population level. But people shouldn’t suddenly worry too much about the specific risks associated with their blood type, Kommenzo says. Many of these differences in risk are small, and patients concerned about their health should focus on risk factors that they can control.

“There are many ways that people with these blood types can reduce their risk. This includes exercising, eating healthy, not smoking, and making lifestyle changes,” Commenzo explains.

Source: Medical Express

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