Your blood type matters
Unless you’ve recently given blood, you may not think much about your blood type. The presence or absence of certain molecules called A or B antigens, as well as a protein called the Rh factor, determine which of the eight common blood types you have coursing through your veins. (The Australia Red Cross notes that these blood types are: A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+, AB-, O+, or O-.) However, these antigens make a difference beyond just your blood, according to an article published in Blood Transfusion in 2013. They can influence other parts of your body, including blood vessels, neurons and platelets, and as a result, your blood type may be linked to your risk of developing certain diseases.
Types A, B, AB: heart disease
Non-O blood types have 25 to 30 percent higher levels of blood-clotting proteins known as von Willebrand factor and factor VIII. In part, because of that difference, these people also have a 15 per cent greater risk of dying from heart disease compared to people with other blood types, according to 2015 research from BMC Medicine.
Type O: lower risk of blood clots
Considering that type Os have lower quantities of the proteins that help blood coagulate, they’re also less likely to suffer from blood clots. (The downside is that blood clotting helps prevent excessive bleeding.) That said, there are many things that cause blood clots. “It shouldn’t be assumed that being an O blood type means an individual is ‘protected’ or an A blood type is at higher risk,” says haematologist Dr Terry B. Gernsheimer.