A heart attack is the permanent damage or death of the heart muscles due to lack of supply of oxygen-rich blood. Due to the sudden blockage of blood supply in the artery, a section of the heart begins to die. In case blood supply isn't immediately restored, it can quickly prove to be fatal. According to reports, heart attacks kill one person every 33 seconds in our country. India bears a silent witness to nearly two million heart attacks annually.
Lately, there have been several heart attack cases showing an increasingly high number of young people as its victims. Some of the factors that may induce a heart attack include a poor diet, excessive smoking, increased alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, and heredity or genetics, among others. All these increase the probability of a heart attack's occurrence, especially among the youth.
While a sedentary lifestyle is the major causative factor for most of the heart attacks in our society, there has been another shocking revelation through an international study conducted earlier this year by Kole and Associates. It has been found that people with A, B, and AB blood groups may be at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases, particularly heart attacks, when compared to individuals with O blood groups. The study, which involved around 1.3 million respondents, was presented at European Society of Cardiology.
(Also read: 9 Common Causes of Heart attack: Are Men More at Risk Than Women?)
A, B, and AB blood groups may be at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases
The research identified 7,71,113 individuals with a non-O blood group and 519,743 individuals with an O blood group in the meta-analysis of coronary disorders. Among all people with non-O blood groups, 1.5 percent experienced a coronary event, as compared to 1.4 percent in the O blood group. Similarly, for combined cardiovascular events, the risk associated with non-O blood groups was significantly higher.
The study's findings clearly indicate that a person's blood group should be considered as an important risk assessment factor for prevention of heart health issues. This is apart from the regular assessment factors such as age, sex, weight, systolic blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The reason behind this association between heart attacks and blood group, however, remain unclear till date; although there are several speculations ongoing.
Research has also found in the past, that people with A, B and AB blood have 25% more Von-Willebrand gene factor, which is an important blood constituent that leads to clotting. Higher levels of the blood-clotting protein subsequently lead to a higher concentration of cholesterol among these non-O type blood groups.
Based on these findings, authors recommend considering an additional risk for the ABO blood groups. But that doesn't mean people with blood type O should not be concerned at all.
Belonging to a non-O blood type represents only a risk factor, among many others. Studies can never be 100% accurate- there are millions of people worldwide with non-O blood groups that do not have, and probably will never develop any of these diseases. Thus, in my opinion, a healthy lifestyle still remains the primary factor that can bring about good influence on an individual's heart.