Your Blood Type Could Predict Your Risk of Having a Stroke Before Age 60


Overview: People with blood type A are more likely to have a stroke before age 60 than people with the most common blood type O, a new study reports.

Source: University of Maryland

According to a new meta-analysis led by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), a person’s blood type may be associated with early stroke risk.

The findings are published today in the journal Neurology.

The meta-analysis included all available data from genetic studies that focused on ischemic strokes, which are caused by a blockage of blood flow to the brain, that occur in younger adults under the age of 60.

“The number of people with early strokes is rising. These people are more likely to die from the life-threatening event, and survivors may face a disability for decades. Despite this, little research has been done on the causes of early strokes,” said co-principal investigator Steven J. Kittner, MD, MPH, professor of neurology at UMSOM and neurologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

He and his colleagues conducted the study by conducting a meta-analysis of 48 studies on genetics and ischemic stroke, involving 17,000 stroke patients and nearly 600,000 healthy controls who had never had a stroke.

They then looked at all the chromosomes collected to identify genetic variants associated with stroke and found a link between early stroke — which occurs before age 60 — and the region of the chromosome that contains the gene that determines whether a blood group is A, AB, B or O.

The study found that people with an early stroke were more likely to have blood type A and less likely to have blood type O (the most common blood type) — compared to people who had a late stroke and those who have never had a stroke. Both early and late strokes were also more likely to have blood type B compared to controls.

After adjusting for gender and other factors, researchers found that those with blood type A had a 16 percent higher risk of early stroke than those with other blood types. Those with blood type O had a 12 percent lower risk of stroke than people with other blood types.

“Our meta-analysis looked at people’s genetic profiles and found associations between blood type and early stroke risk. The association of blood type with later-onset stroke was much weaker than what we found in early stroke,” said co-lead researcher Braxton D. Mitchell, PhD, MPH, professor of medicine at UMSOM.

The researchers emphasized that the increased risk was very modest and that people with type A blood should not worry about having an early stroke or undergo additional screening or medical testing based on this finding.

The researchers emphasized that the increased risk was very modest and that people with type A blood should not worry about having an early stroke or undergo additional screening or medical testing based on this finding. Image is in the public domain

“We still don’t know why blood type A would pose a higher risk, but it probably has something to do with blood clotting factors such as 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 Dr. Kittner.

Previous studies suggest that people with blood type A have a slightly higher risk of developing blood clots in the legs, known as deep vein thrombosis.

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“We clearly need more follow-up studies to clarify the mechanisms of increased stroke risk,” he added.

In addition to Dr. Kittner and Dr. Mitchell, the UMSOM faculty involved in this study included Huichun Xu, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine; Patrick F. McArdle, PhD, associate professor of medicine; Timothy O’Connor, PhD, associate professor of medicine; James A. Perry, PhD, assistant professor of medicine; Kathleen A. Ryan, MPH, MS, statistician; John W. Cole, MD, professor of neurology; Marc C. Hochberg, MD, MPH, professor of medicine; O. Colin Stine, PhD, professor of epidemiology and public health; and Charles C. Hong, MD, PhD, Melvin Sharoky MD Professor of Medicine.

A limitation of the study was the relative lack of diversity among the participants. The data is derived from the Early Onset Stroke Consortium, a collaboration of 48 different studies in North America, Europe, Japan, Pakistan and Australia. About 35 percent of the participants were of non-European descent.

“This study raises an important question that requires a deeper investigation into how our genetically predetermined blood type may play a role in early stroke risk,” said Mark T. Gladwin, MD, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore , and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “It highlights the urgent need to find new ways to prevent these potentially devastating events in younger adults.”

Financing: The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Researchers from more than 50 institutions around the world co-authored this study.

About this stroke research news

Author: Deborah Kotz
Source: University of Maryland
Contact: Deborah Kotz – University of Maryland
Image: The image is in the public domain

Original research: The findings appear in Neurology

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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