Four Reasons Why You Should Know Your Blood Type

According to recent studies which link different blood groups with everything from risk of heart disease to chances of infertility, it’s more important than ever before to know what your blood type is, whether or not you plan to donate. Although many people believe that if they’re not donating blood or receiving a blood transfusion then it’s not important to know their blood type, these studies suggest otherwise, meaning that if you don’t yet know whether you’re type A, B, AB or O, you should definitely find out.

Blood Clots

Recently, Danish researchers studied how blood type interacts with a genetic predisposition for deep-vein thrombosis or blood clots in the lower legs which can potentially travel to the lungs, becoming life-threatening. The researchers analysed data on around 66,000 people over a period of more than thirty years, and found that those with blood types AB, A, and B were at a 40% higher risk of deep-vein thrombosis than those with blood type O, which is the most commonly found type. When further analysis was carried out to determine which factors have the biggest impact on deep-vein thrombosis on a population level, results showed that an AB blood type contributed to around 20% of blood clots.

Heart Disease

Scientists at Harvard University analysed more than two decades’ worth of data on more than 77,000 people, which led them to discover that patients with AB blood were at a 23% increased risk of heart disease compared to patients with type O blood. Those with type B blood were at an 11% higher risk, and patients with blood type A were at a 5% greater risk. According to HealthDay, researchers were unable to determine the cause of this, however type A blood is associated with LDL cholesterol and type O blood, which had the least amount of risk, may contain a chemical which prevents clotting and boosts blood flow. Lifestyle factors, however, still have the largest impact on heart disease.

Stomach Cancer

According to a 2010 Swedish study from the Karolinska Institute, people who have type A blood have a 20 percent greater chance of developing gastric cancer compared to those with blood types O and B. The same Swedish study also found that people with type O blood, the most common type, were also at an increased risk of stomach ulcers as they may be more susceptible to the Helicobacter pylori bacteria which cause the stomach sores. Do you know yours or your family’s blood group? If you or a family member is suffering from stomach problems, it may well pay to find out.

Fertility

According to a study carried out by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, women with blood type O were twice as likely to have high blood levels of the hormone FSH which indicates low ovarian reserve and effects fertility. Although researchers couldn’t conclude for sure why this is, the study author said that age is a more important risk factor for fertility problems, and given that type O blood is the most common, it may not be something to worry too much about.

Visit The London Travel Clinic to book a blood test and find out your blood group today!

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