A study published in the scientific journal Neurology points to a relationship between the gene that defines an individual’s blood type and the occurrence of an ischemic stroke before age 60. An ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage in the bloodstream, which prevents blood from reaching the brain.
The researchers gathered data from 48 genetic studies, which included 17,000 people who had an ischemic stroke and nearly 600,000 in the control group – that is, who did not have a stroke. All participants were between 18 and 59 years of age.
The analysis found a prevalence of type A blood group among people who had an early stroke (compared to people who had a stroke when they were older or never had a stroke). The risk of having a stroke at any age was higher in people with blood type B compared to the control group.
More specifically, the researchers found that those with type A blood had a 16% greater risk of having an early stroke than people with other blood types; for type O, the risk was 12% lower.
What is ischemic stroke
This is the most common type of stroke, accounting for 85% of cases. It is usually caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, atherosclerosis, obesity or an unruly lifestyle, which both an adult over 65 years of age, as well as a young person can present.
Nonetheless, the occurrence of stroke is not common in young patients, as pointed out by Dr. Wanderley Cerqueira de Lima, neurosurgeon at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein. “In young patients, these episodes occur, in the vast majority, in women. Mainly in those who are smokers, obese or who use contraceptives”, explains the doctor.
Wanderley young patients may have some unknown condition, even due to lack of routine check-ups. Examples are cardiac arrhythmia, failure of heart communications or some other hidden or ignored comorbidity.
The neurosurgeon says that preventing stroke should be the same as preventing any heart disease:
- Avoid smoking;
- Avoid alcohol;
- Control blood pressure;
- Have a diet rich in Omega 3 (to avoid clogging the arteries);
- Exercise regularly;
- Combat obesity;
- Get regular medical check-ups, regardless of age.
“In younger patients it is always important to discover early the existence of some comorbidity, because the highest incidence of stroke is in adult patients. Therefore, it is good to be aware”, he concludes.
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