People below 60 years are more prone to Brain Stroke, this blood group is vulnerable

A person’s blood type can tell many things, such as the risk for certain health conditions, the risk for blood clots and even whether they may be prone to kidney stones. Now there’s evidence that there might be a link between blood types and strokes and blood type may also predict one’s risk for experiencing a stroke. Newly published research published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Neurology shows a strong association between having blood type A and an increased risk of early-onset ischemic stroke before the age of 60. Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), Baltimore, have conducted this research.

What is a stroke?

Strokes are medical emergencies that cause damage to brain tissue. One of the most common types of stroke is an ischemic stroke where the blood supply to the brain is cut off.

It 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 happen when something, such as a blood clot, blocks the blood supply to the brain. Without an adequate blood supply, the brain can’t get the oxygen it needs, and brain cells die because of the lack of oxygen.

The extent of functional loss caused by a stroke depends on many factors, such as which part of the brain has been affected, and how quickly the patient gets medical care.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), nearly 3.5 million people worldwide died from an ischemic stroke in 2020.

Factors that increase risk of stroke

Certain factors increase stroke risk. However, there are some risk factors that experts have likely not identified and risk factors that are not totally understood. One area of interest is how blood type may increase stroke risk. Anyone can have a stroke at any age. But the chances of having a stroke increase if certain risk factors are present. Some risk factors for stroke can be changed or managed, while others can’t.

Risk factors for stroke that can be changed, treated, or medically managed:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Birth control pills (oral contraceptives)
  • History of TIAs (transient ischemic attacks)
  • High red blood cell count
  • High blood cholesterol and lipids
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Illegal drugs
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Cardiac structural abnormalities

Risk factors for stroke that can’t be changed:

  • Older age
  • Race
  • Gender
  • History of prior strokes
  • Heredity or genetics

Other factors:

  • Area of living
  • Temperature, season, climate, and other environmental factors
  • Social and economic factors

Blood type and risk of stroke

The study included the blood types A, AB, B, and O.

The four main blood groups are determined by the presence or absence of antigens, proteins that can trigger an immune reaction on the surface of red blood cells, according to the American Red Cross.

  • Type A – The A antigen is on red blood cells, and the B antibody is in the plasma
  • Type B – The B antigen is on red blood cells, and the A antigen is in the plasma
  • Type AB – Both antigen types are on red blood cells, and neither is in the plasma
  • Type O – Neither antigen type is on red blood cells, and both are in the plasma

Knowing a person’s blood type is crucial during a blood transfusion because the body could reject the blood if the immune system is activated.

Braxton Mitchell, Ph.D., MPH, the lead study author and a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, says that people with the A blood type might be more likely to develop blood clots, which can lead to a stroke.

To investigate how genetic factors could influence the risk of stroke, researchers analyzed 48 studies on genetics and ischemic stroke, which included 16,700 stroke patients and 599,237 healthy controls who had never experienced a stroke. A majority of the study data was from the United States and Europe.

They found a link between early-onset stroke — occurring before age 60 — and the area of the chromosome that includes the gene that determines whether a blood type is A, AB, B, or O.

“It was surprising to me that the ABO blood group was by far the strongest association that we saw in early-onset stroke,” explained Dr. Mitchell. “And not only that, the association was much stronger for early-onset stroke than it was for late-onset stroke. So that was a surprise for us.”

The study found that people who experienced an early stroke were more likely to have blood type A and less likely to have blood type O than people with late stroke and people who never had a stroke.

Having type A blood was associated with an 18% greater chance of developing early-onset stroke. This included a greater risk of developing blood clots, which can trigger a stroke. In contrast, people with blood type O were 12% less likely to have an early stroke than other blood types.

There was also a slight risk of both early and late stroke in people with type B blood. However, after the researchers adjusted for sex and other contributing factors of stroke, the association was gone.

The association of blood type with later-onset stroke was much weaker than blood type’s association with early stroke, according to the authors.

Preventing strokes

According to experts, up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable with lifestyle changes.

Some lifestyle changes that can help reduce the risk include:

  • Quitting smoking.
  • Keeping a blood pressure machine at home if you have high blood pressure and take measurements daily. Write these down and bring the log to your doctor’s appointments.
  • Eating a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and nuts.
  • Exercise – in any form, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day at first.
  • Know your cholesterol levels

Consistency is key to maintaining healthy lifestyle habits and thus reducing the risk of strokes.

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