Can Your Blood Type Affect Your Health?

While it may be somewhat easy to change your workouts and your diet, there's nothing you can do to change your blood type, which is determined by microscopic substances that live on the surface of your red blood cells. These surface substances interact with your immune system in ways that affect your risk for a number of common diseases. This means, that depending on your blood type (A,B, AB or O) you may be more or less likely to suffer from issues related to the heart, cancer and several other ailments.

blood type

Here's what your blood type could mean for you:

Memory Problems

Blood Type: AB

According to the journal Neurology, having this blood type may increase your risk of cognitive impairment, particularly among older ABs who are more likely than those with other blood types to have problems learning or recalling lists of items (a standard test of cognitive performance). But what could be the reason? According to coauthor Mary Cushman, MD, a Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the University of Vermont, the AB blood type is related to levels of certain clotting factors and to proteins in the blood - which may help explain why type ABs are more likely to develop thinking problems later in life. Still, the exact mechanisms aren't clear.

Stomach Cancer

Blood Type: AB/A

According to a study from the American Journal of Epidemiology, if your blood type is AB, your risk for stomach cancer is roughly 26 per cent higher than if you had blood type B or O. Those with blood type A are also at a higher risk (by 20 per cent) than those with type B or O. But, what could be the cause? A kind of bacteria called H.Pylori may be the reason. Though rather common (two-thirds of the world's population are walking around with H.pylori in their gut) those with blood type AB or A may have a heightened immune system reaction to the bacteria that increases their cancer risk.



Blood Type: O

The same bacteria that may potentially cause stomach cancer among blood types A and AB, may increase your likelihood of developing ulcers if you are type O, by modifying the body's immunological response to the bacteria. 


Heart Disease

Blood Type: AB/B

According to research from the Harvard School of Public Health, people with blood types AB and B were at the greatest risk for heart disease. Researchers say that certain blood groups have been linked to higher rates of inflammation, which could partly explain their connection to heart disease. O Blood types may have a lower risk of heart disease by up to 23 percent.  


Pancreatic Cancer

Blood Type: A/B/AB

According to research from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, type O's are 37 percent less likely to develop pancreatic cancer than people with other blood types. Researchers maintain that this is possibly due to the presence of the gut bacteria H.plori.


What next?

It is important to note that while your blood type does play a role in your disease risk, how big or small that role may be is not known. Mary Cushman, MD, advises a healthy lifestyle to limit your chances of disease. She recommends eating right, exercising and only worrying about those things you cannot control. And for anyone worried about a specific health condition, be it heart disease or memory loss, proper screening and regular check-ups can help you stay ahead of the illness.



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Related Topics: health , blood test , health facts , blood type
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