Your blood type may make you more susceptible to dozens of diseases

STOCKHOLM — Many people are drawn to the idea that their blood type determines their personality, or that certain foods may enhance a person’s body type based on their blood. While these beliefs are not necessarily fact, a recent study does indicate that blood types may actually make people prone to certain diseases.

Researchers say specific blood types with increased risk of developing clots, such as deep vein thrombosis (DBT), and other bleeding conditions, as well as pregnancy-induced hypertension. Additionally, the research found an association between the blood types B and O and the formation of kidney stones. These findings provide fresh insight into disease predisposition according to blood type.

Preliminary research shows that those with type A or type B blood have a greater risk of developing heart disease, while type O individuals are more prone to suffer from a bleeding disorder.

Over five million individuals in Sweden were studied to see whether their ABO blood type or RhD-positive/negative blood groups were linked to certain diseases. The team compared blood types with more than 1,000 disorders. The data revealed 49 illnesses connected to specific blood types and one disorder associated with the RhD group.

“There is still very little information available about whether people with RhD-positive or RhD-negative blood groups may be at risk of certain diseases, or how many more diseases may be affected by blood type or group,” says first author Torsten Dahlén, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Medicine, Solna, at Karolinska Institute in Sweden, in a statement. “To help fill this gap, we used an unbiased approach to investigate the link between ABO blood types and RhD groups and more than 1,000 diseases.”

The study shows that individuals with type A blood had an increased risk of developing clots such as DBTs, and type O individuals had an overall increased risk of developing a bleeding condition. Additionally, women with type O and/or RhD antigen (positive blood type) were more susceptible to suffer high blood pressure during pregnancy.

Individuals with type B blood were found to have a decreased incidence of kidney stones. According to the findings, individuals with type AB blood were not associated with any of the specific diseases linked to the other types. However, more research is required to verify the findings and identify whether or not there are alternate reasons for these associations between specific blood types and an increased risk of particular illnesses.

This study is published in eLife.

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