For those with the AB blood type, the risk of blood clots may be greater than for other blood types. Danish researchers found that type AB blood alone accounted for a 20 percent increase in risk for venous thromboembolism, or blood clots. In individuals possessing specific genetic mutations, this risk was even higher. Interestingly, these findings are not unique and clinical practice will be largely unaffected.
The correlation between blood type and thrombosis or bleeding has been an object of study for some time. There is a blood component known as von Willebrand levels that is associated with bleeding and clotting across all blood types. Lower von Willebrand levels increase the likelihood of bleeding, whereas higher levels increase the likelihood of clotting. Type O blood has the lowest levels while type AB has the highest, with types A and B falling in the middle range.
For those with a higher risk for thromboembolism due to disease, age or hospitalization, this is particularly relevant. While these individuals are most likely already receiving anti-clotting (anti-coagulation) medicine they are doing so without knowing their von Willebrand levels. This could lead to over- or under-medication, and in the future this might influence medical procedures. The study results may also be relevant when performing genetic screening for thrombophilia, the predisposition to abnormal blood clotting.
While the findings are relevant in continuing to understand the role of blood type in venous thromboembolism, this area of research is still in its infancy and just beginning to gain footing. With further study, there is the potential for development in therapeutic decision-making and inclusion in everyday medical procedures. Until then, the average person has a new detail to consider when protecting against blood clots. Being aware of the role your blood type plays in clotting is beneficial in terms of understanding yourself and your health, so keep up with the research as it continues to develop.
Read the entire article here: AB Blood Types May Have Higher Risk of Blood Clots, Study Finds
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