Home » Cardiovascular Health » Human Circulatory System » Blood Circulation

Why Your Blood Type is Important

Most of us are completely unaware of our blood type. In high school biology you may have run through that standard test and were surprised when you got the results of what you blood type was. However, you have probably long since forgotten those results. Unless you have been in a medical situation where you had to donate blood or platelets or needed a transfusion yourself, your blood type is probably one of the last things you would ever think of. However, new studies are showing that there are some risks that are associated with various blood types and knowing where you fall could be something that helps to save your life.


There are four distinct blood types: A, B, AB & O. This is just the first portion of the blood type categorization, but we as patients are usually only aware of the alphabetic category that we fall into. The only other important factor that we may know is whether we are positive or negative within our alpha category. The positive notation actually indicates whether our blood contains the infamous Rh factor.

Harvard University has conducted a major longer-term study involving over 90,000 women and men and has come up with some rather surprising results on the topic of blood types. Type O blood seems to have the lowest overall risk of stroke. However, those that have Type AB blood seem to have a twenty nine percent higher risk of the most common for of stroke, called the ischemic stroke. The ischemic stroke relates to a blood clot in the brain that causes the lack of sufficient blood flow. An unusual finding is that men and women with Type B blood types fare differently in the topic of stroke. Only women with Type B blood type had a seventeen percent higher chance of an ischemic stroke. Those people that have Type A blood type didn’t seem to compare in different risk factors from those that have Type O blood type. It also seems that the Rh Factor (where positive or negative) didn’t play any significant role in the overall risk factor of those that were studied.

This is just a preliminary study and there is a lot more research that will need to be done. The important factor in these results is that it raises some red flags in the relationship between blood type and ischemic risk factor. Knowing your blood type and your risk factor can help you make some lifestyle decisions to help to avoid the possibility of an ischemic stroke. Things that you may need to be aware of include your blood pressure, any overweight condition and smoking. All of these can contribute to stroke risk. If your blood type is part of the higher risk group you can make changes to help to lower that risk. If you don’t have any idea what your blood type is you can ask your physician or primary medical care giver to do a simple blood type test.


The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.