Is there a relationship between stroke risk and blood group? Some may have a higher risk before age 60


Is there a relationship between stroke risk and blood group?  Some may have a higher risk before age 60
Written by aquitodovale

from Cesare Peccarisi

Experts reiterate that what really matters for these events are prevention and timeliness of intervention

In 1930 the Viennese immunologist Karl Landsteiner won the Nobel Prize for identification of the three blood groups A, B and 0 (zero) which leads to the ABzero classification which distinguishes the types of blood that each of us can have, dividing us into eight subtypes thanks to the subsequent addition of the group AB and discovering a red blood cell antigen that further distinguishes us into Rh positive and negative. On August 31, researchers from the University of Maryland in Baltimore (USA) directed by Braxton Mitchell demonstrated in the journal Neurology that having a blood group rather than another not indifferent to the risk of strokeone of the most widespread pathologies (it affects 200 thousand Italians a year) which was one of the themes of the Day of Neurology announced on 22 September throughout Italy by Sin, the Italian Society of Neurology.

Group A

Each parent transmits to the child one of the three allelic molds (alternative forms of genes) that will give rise to his blood group: the genetics of this complex system and precisely in these mechanisms would nestle the predisposition to develop blood clots, which varies according to the blood group. To understand how much it can affect the risk of stroke, almost 17,000 cases have been studied compared to almost 600,000 healthy controls of the same age: it is seen that the blood group could affect not only the risk itself, but also the age of onset of the cerebral ischemic event. The comparison was made between 5,825 patients who had had an early stroke, that is, before the age of 60and 9,269 who had instead suffered a late stroke, that is, after the age of 60. Blood group B was associated with both early and late strokes, but early ones were mostly associated with group A (48%) and less than 0 (35%). After statistical correction of the confounding data (such as ethnicity, age, gender, etc.) the risk for stroke precocious in group A rose to 64% and that of group 0 dropped to 23%.


These results should not cause alarm, but become an additional resource for prevention – comments the president of the Italian Stroke Association, Mauro Silvestrini of the Polytechnic University of Marche -, above all urging subjects with groups A and B to a greater attention towards risk factors such as smoking, overweight, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia or diabetes, all conditions modifiable by correct lifestyles or specific treatments. In general, then everyone, including the subjects with group zero who in this study would seem to be the most protected, must in any case know the symptoms that make us notice the onset of a stroke in time. Loss of strength or sensation in an arm or legreduction or loss of vision in one eye, an inability to express yourself correctly or understand someone who is speaking to you, a sudden and violent headache in those who do not have a history of headache. Knowing how to recognize them can save your life.

Time factor

A recent Swedish study conducted in the Vstra Gtaland region indicates that over 80% of those who called an ambulance at the first symptoms had an early recognition of stroke and allowed us a hospitalization and a more timely treatment in a stroke unit with a significantly lower risk of death. The time factor is in fact fundamental – confirms Alfredo Berardelli, lecturer at the La Sapienza University of Rome and president of the Italian Society of Neurology -. Stroke is a neurological emergency that must be treated as soon as possible with fibrinolytic drugs and in particular cases with thrombectomy that is with the removal of blood thrombus by transcatheteral routemeasures to be taken within 4 hours, recently expanded to 9, in hospitals equipped with neurovascular units or Stroke Units that offer the patient an articulated path where the neurologist works in a team with other specialists, especially neuroradiologists and cardiologists. This is the only way to save the patient’s life, regardless of his blood type.

October 7, 2022 (change October 7, 2022 | 09:20)

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