New research highlights how blood type could predict the risk of having a stroke before 60 years of age. A team of researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) found that those with type A blood had a higher risk of stroke before age 60 as compared to people with type O blood.
A stroke is a medical emergency which causes damage to the brain after its blood supply is interrupted. When it occurs, prompt treatment is crucial. Brain damage and other complications can be reduced to some extent if early action is taken.
In the new meta-analysis, published in the journal Neurology, researchers reviewed data from genetic studies on ischaemic stroke, which is the most common type.
After analysis, researchers found that people with blood type A are 16 per cent more likely to suffer one stroke before the age of 60.
As per the findings, the risk was lower for those with the most common type O and those with type B blood were at a slightly elevated risk of a stroke.
Notably, the increased risk was modest, the researchers said, adding that people should not worry.
However, it is not clear why the blood type is playing a key role in predicting the risk of stroke. But researchers think that blood type might be responsible for a person’s risk of developing dangerous clots.
The study co-principal investigator Steven J Kittner, MD, MPH, Professor of Neurology at UMSOM, said, “The number of people with early strokes is rising. These people are more likely to die from the life-threatening event, and survivors potentially face decades with disability. Despite this, there is little research on the causes of early strokes.” Kittner is a neurologist with the University of Maryland Medical Center.
The study was conducted by analysing cases of 17,000 stroke patients. Steven J Kittner and his team analyzed 48 studies on genetics and ischemic stroke. They also studies nearly 600,000 healthy controls who never had experienced a stroke.
The study also found that those with O blood type were 12 per cent less likely to suffer a stroke before 60 years of age. It was also found that types B and AB had no impact.
What causes a stroke?
Trouble in walking, speaking and understanding, as well as paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg are some of the major symptoms of stroke.
Early treatment with medication like tPA (clot buster) can minimise brain damage. Other treatments focus on limiting complications and preventing additional strokes.