Know Your Blood Type
Most people learn which blood type they have the first time they donate blood. “It is always important to do a type and a cross-match in any situation when you do a blood transfusion,” he explains.
Blood Type as a Predictor of Stroke
According to a recent study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, researchers believe blood type can be tied to an increased risk of stroke. “In this study, they looked at 90,000 people over a 20-year period and looked at about 3,000 instances of stroke,” says Dr. Allen. “Researchers found that men and women who had type AB blood had about a 25 percent increased chance of getting a stroke. Women who had type B blood had a 15 percent increased risk. There appears to be some correlation between blood type and your risk for having a stroke.”
So how exactly does your blood type influence your risk of stroke?
“These proteins, which may be present in other areas of the body in addition to the surface of red blood cells, are probably somehow related to damage to the blood vessels and risk for stroke,” he says. Dr. Allen believes that ultimately physicians will identify a patient’s blood type to determine his or her stroke risk.