People with type A blood are more likely to have a stroke before age 60, study finds

A study carried out by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (USA) revealed that people with type A blood group are more susceptible to suffering a stroke (stroke) before age 60. The disease has already killed more than 75,000 people in Brazil in 2022, according to the Civil Registry Transparency Portal.

In a meta-analysis of 48 studies done in North America, Europe, Japan, Pakistan and Australia on genetics and ischemic stroke, the scientists looked at data from 17,000 people who had leakage throughout their lives and about 600,000 who have never suffered from the disease. According to those responsible for the work, the study analyzed the chromosomes collected from these groups and identified genetic variants associated with stroke. The chromosome area includes the gene that determines a person’s blood type.

While those with blood type A are more likely to have a stroke, the study found that people belonging to subgroup O – the most common – are less likely to have a stroke.

“After adjusting for sex and other factors, the researchers found that those who had type A blood had a 16% higher risk of having an early stroke than people with other blood types. Those who had type O blood had a 12% lower risk of having a stroke than people with other blood types,” the University of Maryland said in a statement.

One of the main authors of the study, Professor of Medicine Braxton Mitchell pointed out that the association of blood type with late stroke was weaker than with early stroke. “We still don’t know why blood type A confers a higher risk, but it likely has something to do with blood clotting factors such as platelets and cells that line blood vessels,” explained study co-author Steven Kittner.

For the coordinator of the Stroke Unit of the Hospital de Clínicas of the Faculty of Medicine of University of Sao Paulo (USP), Octávio Neto Pontes, the “research is quite robust”, but the limitation of the study must be considered, since there was limited diversity among the participants, as acknowledged by the researchers responsible for the analyses. Although the work was based on data from participants from different countries and continents, only 35% of these are non-Europeans.

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“We cannot easily extrapolate these data to the population of Brazil, as we have very large miscegenation and we do not know if these findings also have the same degree of association that we see in the Brazilian population, which is very diverse in terms of ethnicity,” said Pontes. to Estadão. The specialist also stressed that blood type should not be the only factor considered when it comes to stroke risks.

Research analyzed data from more than 600,000 volunteers and concluded that people with blood type A are more likely to develop a stroke.
Research analyzed data from more than 600,000 volunteers and concluded that people with blood type A are more likely to develop a stroke. Photograph: Isac Nóbrega

The neurologist at Hospital Albert Einstein Polyana Piza says that it is still not possible to determine, without a doubt, that the public with blood group A is more susceptible to stroke based on the scientific evidence so far. But, according to her, the study opens doors for the scientific community to investigate and understand the reasons for these results.

“This study is based on association, that is, blood type was compared to the occurrence of stroke. That means we don’t have cause and effect. We need to understand why this happens, as the study does not bring any data to be used in the clinic yet,” he explains.

Coordinator of Einstein’s clinical specialties program, she said she believes that the new studies will allow scientists and health professionals to outline strategies for treatment with medications and new forms of monitoring. According to her, it is not necessary to monitor patients with blood type A or say that those belonging to group O are, in a way, more protected.

According to Pontes Neto, the hypertension it is the main reason someone is more susceptible to stroke, regardless of age, although the risks increase after age 50. Regarding the need for the public belonging to the type A blood group to run to hospitals in order to perform tests, the neurologist advises: “No need. Regardless of blood type, the guideline is this: control risk factors. More than 80% of these conditions are preventable and treatable.”

What are the risk factors for stroke?

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– Hypertension

– Smoking

– diabetes

– Dyslipidemia (high cholesterol)

– Excessive drinking of alcohol

– Obesity

– Inappropriate diet

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– Sedentary lifestyle

– Heart diseases

– Stress and depression

What are the types of cerebrovascular accident (CVA)?

There are two types of stroke, ischemic and hemorrhagic. The most common is ischemic, which is caused by the rupture of an artery in the brain, which leaks blood into the organ. Every minute without treatment represents the loss of 1.9 million neurons, which can leave permanent sequelae. A hemorrhagic is caused by a blockage in an artery that carries blood to the brain.

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

– Weakness or tingling in limbs, especially on one side

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– Mental confusion

– Speech and/or comprehension difficulties

– Changes in vision, balance and coordination

– dizziness

– Headache

How to prevent a stroke?

Stroke prevention is directly related to changes in habits, especially in those who have risk factors. Octávio Neto Pontes points to the need for good blood pressure control, mainly. In addition, it is recommended to perform frequent physical exercises and adopt a healthy diet.

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