A stroke is a medical emergency that can lead to lifelong disability, and the risk of stroke can increase depending on certain factors.
A recent study found that people with type A blood may have a higher risk of early stroke. Some factors, such as blood type, cannot be changed, but people can work to change other stroke risk factors to reduce their chances of having one. Strokes are medical emergencies that damage brain tissue. One of the most common types of stroke is ischemic stroke, which is characterized by an interruption in the blood supply to the brain.
A recent study published in Neurology found that people with blood type A had a higher risk of having a stroke before age 60 than people with blood type O. However, people can work to reduce the risk of stroke by controlling modifiable risk factors such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
How serious are strokes?
A stroke is a specific event that damages the brain or causes the death of brain tissue. The most common type of stroke is ischemic stroke. Ischemic strokes occur when something, such as a blood clot, blocks the blood supply to the brain. Without an adequate blood supply, the brain cannot receive the oxygen it needs and brain cells die due to lack of oxygen. The brain controls the rest of the body, so damage to it can have long-term consequences Trusted Source. For example, people may experience memory loss, blindness, or communication problems after a stroke. They may also have paralysis on the side of the body opposite to the side of the brain affected by the stroke. Identifying risk factors for stroke can help raise awareness and hopefully prevent strokes.
Blood groups that influence stroke risk
Certain factors increase the risk of stroke. However, there are risk factors that experts probably haven’t identified and risk factors that aren’t fully understood. One area of interest is how blood type can increase stroke risk. In this study, experts looked at blood type and its association with the risk of early ischemic stroke (CVA). Early-onset strokes are strokes that occur in people before the age of sixty. The researchers performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. They included research from 48 studies, ultimately analyzing data from 16,730 stroke cases and 599,237 control participants without stroke.
Including everything in the analysis, the strongest association for stroke risk was with blood types A and O.
The study found that people with blood type A were most at risk of early stroke. People with stroke were also more likely to have type B blood compared to the control group. In contrast, people with blood type O had a lower risk of stroke, including early stroke. This risk of stroke could be linked to an increased risk of blood clots in people with blood type A.
The researchers explain in a press release:
“We compared genetic differences between 16,730 young adult ischemic stroke victims and approximately 600,000 non-stroke controls and found significant differences between the two groups in the frequency of genetic variants that code for the ABO blood group. Specifically, cases were more likely than controls to have variants that code for blood group A and less likely to have variants that code for blood group O. […] “.
The results indicate that blood groups may mark increased susceptibility to early stroke, possibly by increasing susceptibility to thrombosis. “We found that blood types A and O were also more strongly associated with early than late onset of venous thromboembolism (VTE), another pro-thrombotic condition. Conversely, genetic risk of VTE was also more strongly associated with early onset of stroke than late onset. »
This study was limited in several respects. First, the study included mostly participants of European ancestry. This implies that a more diversified follow-up is necessary. The study also could not determine the cause of this link between blood types and stroke, so further data collection may focus on causal factors rather than associations.
How to reduce your risk of stroke
Although you cannot change your blood type, there are other stroke risk factors that you can control to reduce your risk. For example, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, smoking, and obesity are all risk factors for stroke. People can take steps to modify these risk factors and thus reduce the risk of stroke, even if they have a blood type that may be more susceptible to stroke.
For example, people can follow healthy diet recommendations and exercise regularly to help reduce the risk of stroke. People can be in close contact with their doctor and other medical professionals to push themselves towards a healthy lifestyle and address potential health issues.
Some strategies to prevent first strokes and reduce the risk of recurrence. Up to 80% of strokes could be “preventable” with the following lifestyle changes:
– Stop smoking
– For people with high blood pressure, take and record daily measurements using a home blood pressure monitor.
– Adopt a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and nuts.
– Exercise regularly in any form, even if only 10 minutes a day at first.
– Know your cholesterol level
– be consistent in maintaining these interventions for a healthy lifestyle.
This study adds to the body of knowledge on non-modifiable risk factors for cerebrovascular disease. Healthy lifestyle interventions can go a long way in preventing the onset or progression of cerebrovascular disease. Start early. 10-15% of strokes occur in adults under the age of 50.