A recent study presented at the congress of the Heart Failure Association suggests that non-carriers of O blood group have a slightly higher risk of heart attack.

The research was based on a review of 11 studies into blood groups and heart disease. Over 1.3 million people were involved in the studies.

Based on the analysis of fatal coronary events, the researchers found a slight difference between people with O and non-O blood groups.

15 in 1000 people with a non-O blood group experienced a heart attack, compared to 14 in 1000 people with blood group O.

The researchers said while more study is needed to understand the differences in risk, one possible explanation is that non-O group carriers have more of a blood clotting agent that is associated with extra cardiovascular risk.

Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, told WebMD that the findings will not have a “large impact on the current guidelines used to assess someone’s risk of a heart attack”.

“These estimations are calculated based on commonly used and widely accepted heart disease risk factors.

“Most of a person’s risk estimation is determined by age, genetics (family history and ethnicity) and other modifiable risk factors including diet, weight, level of physical activity, smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.

“People with a non-O blood group type – AO, BO and AB – need to take the same steps as anyone wanting to reduce their CVD risk.

“That includes taking sensible steps to improve their diet, weight, level of physical activity and not smoking, and where needed, manage blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.”

The findings have yet to be presented in a peer-reviewed journal.



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