If You Have This Blood Type, You're More Likely to Get Blood Clots

Research has established a link between this blood type and blood clotting risk.

Blood clots have been a major topic of discussion recently—mainly due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine because of an extremely rare but serious risk of blood clots among those who receive the shot. That vaccine aside, there are other risk factors for blood clots it's worth being aware of. According to research, your blood type can actually affect your chances of developing blood clots. Read on to find out which blood types should pay extra attention to certain symptoms, and for more risks by blood type, If You Have This Blood Type, Your Heart Attack Risk Is Higher, Study Says.

People with type B blood have the highest risk of blood clots.

Hand of a lab technician holding blood tube test. Health care researchers working in life science laboratory. Doctor holds a blood sample tube in his hand testing in the laboratory
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Researchers have long sought to determine the link between blood type and blood clotting—most recently in a Jan. 2020 study published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, an American Heart Association journal. The researchers for this study examined more than 400,000 people and found that those with blood type B were most likely to suffer from blood clotting, also known as thrombosis. When compared to blood type O, people with blood type B were 45 percent more likely to experience thrombosis and 55 percent more likely to experience deep venous thrombosis, which is a type of blood clotting that occurs in one's deep veins. And for more recent blood clot news, Dr. Fauci Says Anyone Who Got the Johnson & Johnson Jab Should Do This.

And people with type O blood have the lowest risk of blood clotting.

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Type A blood is also at heightened risk. When compared to blood type O, people with blood type A had a 44 percent higher risk of thrombosis and a 50 percent increased risk of deep venous thrombosis. In fact, when looking at any non-O blood type compared to blood type O, there was a clear and significant increased risk. People with non-O type blood were 44 percent more likely to experience thrombosis and 51 percent more likely to experience deep venous thrombosis. They were also 47 percent more likely to develop a pulmonary embolism, which is where a clot travels to the lung.

"Our results are concordant with previous smaller observational reports suggesting an increased risk of thromboembolic events in non-O blood group individuals compared to individuals with blood group O," the study explained. "In both blood groups A and B, we observed similar increased risks of developing thromboembolic events compared with blood group O." And for more useful information delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

This may be due to a protein difference in the blood types.

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According to the study, there is an interesting link that may help explain the association between blood types and blood clots. People with type O blood have a reduced amount of von Willebrand factor (VWF), a protein which is responsible for helping blood clots form.

However, that's just one possible explanation. "Because thrombosis is a well-balanced and complex process, which is affected by a plethora of factors, there could be different biological mechanisms (ie, cell functionality, number of cell receptors) involved in the increased risk of thromboembolic events in blood group A and blood B individuals, besides the already established relation with VWF," the researchers concluded in their study. And for more on blood types, If You Have This Blood Type, Your Dementia Risk Is High, Study Says.

If you experience any blood clotting symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

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Knowing the signs and symptoms of blood clots is extremely important, as more than 100,000 people die each year because of blood clots, according to the CDC. The CDC says you should know the symptoms of the two main types of concerning blood clotting: deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

For deep vein thrombosis, you may experience swelling, pain, tenderness, and redness of the skin in your arm, leg, or stomach—depending on where the blood clot is located. With a pulmonary embolism, you're likely to experience difficulty breathing, faster than normal or irregular heartbeat, chest pain or discomfort that usually worsens with a deep breath or coughing, coughing up blood, and very low blood pressure, lightheadedness, or fainting. "If you have any symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible," the CDC warns. And for more guidance from the CDC, The CDC Is Warning You to Avoid This One Place, Even If You're Vaccinated.

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