Longevity and Blood Type

Longevity 127
Longevity 127

Over the years, we’ve examined the ways in which longevity is linked to myriad lifestyle choices and habits. Many of these are personal preferences. Do those who have pets, spouses, or drink coffee or tea live longer than the rest of us? These are choices for each person to make on their own. But what about the predisposed conditions that influence how long a life we will live, such as blood type? Research suggests that your blood type could impact your health and make you predisposed for certain illnesses and diseases. And those factors will influence your longevity.

According to WebMD, chances are higher that you’ll live longer if you have type O blood. Experts think that a lowered risk of disease in your heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease) may be one reason for this, but they don’t really know why. The same article cited that people with type A, B or AB blood are at a higher risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), which is when your blood clots in deep veins, like the ones in your legs (and these clots sometimes move to your lungs). As well, a small study showed that people with memory problems typically had type AB blood more than any other.

BMC Medicine published an article which concurred with WebMD: that having a non-O blood group is associated with an increased risk of death, particularly from cardiovascular disease (such as ischemic heart disease and stroke). Researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute and Tehran University of Medical Sciences studied a group of 50,045 people over the age of 40 in Iran since 2004, and results of the study showed that people with non-O blood (A, B and AB) had, on average, a 9% higher risk of death from a medical disease, and a 15% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. There was no significant association between blood groups and dying from cancer, but an increased risk of developing gastric cancer was seen among those having the A and B blood groups.

The article also quotes the lead author, Arash Etemadi from the U.S. National Cancer Institute, as saying: “These results may have implications for risk screening in individuals with certain blood groups. Doctors assess the risk of cardiovascular disease and death based on several ‘risk factors’; some of these factors – such as smoking and obesity – are modifiable, and some – like age and sex – are not. So, we should probably consider people’s blood type as a potential non-modifiable contributor to the risk, and doctors may, in some cases, choose to consider a more vigorous approach to targeting modifiable risk factors among people with non-O blood types.”

So, what can we do about this? Living a long life and having it be one of quality is all about being proactive. After all, we can’t decide our blood type. And while that’s true, we can pay attention to some of the research that connects certain ailments to our individual blood types. Then we can take action to try and prevent those conditions. Stay mindful and live longer.

By Jennifer Cox