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Heart Attack Risk Found to be Higher Among Non-O Blood Groups

Heart Attack Risk Found to be Higher Among Non-O Blood Groups

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  • Heart attack causes sudden loss of blood supply to the damaged heart muscle
  • People with non-O blood groups have a higher risk of heart attack
  • The research study found a 9% increase in cardiovascular events among people with non-O blood groups

Non-O blood group people are associated with a higher risk of heart attack finds a recent study presented at the Heart Failure 2017 and the 4th World Congress on Acute Heart Failure.

A heart attack causes a sudden loss of blood supply to the heart muscle. It is the leading cause of death for both men and women.


Around one in four people in the U.S die due to a heart disease every year. Smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are some of the risk factors of a heart attack.

Tessa Kole, master's degree at the University Medical Centre, Groningen, Netherlands, said, "It has been suggested that people with non-O blood groups (A, B, AB) are at higher risk for heart attacks and overall cardiovascular mortality, but this suggestion comes from case-control studies which have a low level of evidence. If this was confirmed it could have important implications for personalized medicine."

Research Study
The study was based on a meta-analysis of prospective studies that reported on the different blood groups and cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and cardiovascular mortality.

The research study included 1,362,569 people from 11 prospective cohorts. Around 23,154 cardiovascular events were reported. The research team analyzed the association between the blood group and all the coronary events which included combined cardiovascular events and fatal coronary events.

The findings of the analysis included that around 771,113 people were non-O blood groups. And around 519,743 people were with an O blood group.

Out of these people, around 11 437 people with non-O blood groups and 7220 people with an O blood group had suffered a coronary event respectively.

The odd ratio (OR) for all the coronary events were higher in carriers of a non-O blood group significantly.

However, in fatal coronary events, there were no significant differences between people with O and non-O blood groups.

Ms. Kole, said, "We demonstrate that having a non-O blood group is associated with a 9% increased risk of coronary events and a 9% increased risk of cardiovascular events, especially myocardial infarction."

Reasons for The Risk
Non-O blood group carriers may have a greater risk for cardiovascular events due to

  • Greater concentrations of von Willebrand factor (a blood clotting protein that has been associated with thrombotic events)
  • Specifically people with A group known to have higher cholesterol levels
  • Galectin -3 linked to inflammation and worsen the outcomes in heart failure patients. It is also higher in people with a non-O blood group.
Ms. Kole said, "More research is needed to identify the cause of the apparent increased cardiovascular risk in people with a non-O blood group. Obtaining more information about risk in each non-O blood group (A, B, and AB) might provide further explanations of the causes."

She even concluded that "In future, blood group should be considered in risk assessment for cardiovascular prevention, together with cholesterol, age, sex and systolic blood pressure. It could be that people with an A blood group should have a lower treatment threshold for dyslipidemia or hypertension, for example. We need further studies to validate if the excess cardiovascular risk in non-O blood group carriers may be amenable to treatment."

  1. Heart Disease Fact Sheet - (https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_heart_disease.htm)

Source: Medindia

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