There are many personal biomarkers that influence your health. This includes your genetic makeup, your DNA and even your blood type. If you do not know what blood group you belong to, it is advisable to get yourself tested at the earliest. Not only will this make it easier for you to receive blood donations in case of a medical emergency, but it could also give you some valuable insights into your overall health.
What are the Different Blood Types?
Your blood type or blood group is determined by a specific pair of genes that you inherit from your mother and your father. The blood group that you have depends on whether or not two specific antigens — known as antigens A and B — are present on your red blood cells (RBCs). Based on this, we have the following blood types:
- Blood type A, which has only antigen A on the RBCs
- Blood type B, which has only antigen B on the RBCs
- Blood type AB, which has both antigens A and B on the RBCs
- Blood type O, which has neither antigen A nor antigen B on the RBCs
How Does Your Blood Type Affect Your Overall Health?
Extensive research over the past few years has revealed that people with certain blood types are more susceptible to some illnesses than others. The blood type can also impact reproductive health and longevity, as studies have discovered. Here is a closer look at how your blood type could affect your health in general.
● Heart Health
The ABO gene is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. And it is found in the following three of the four blood types: Type A, B and AB. Anyone with the ABO gene living in highly polluted areas or having a sedentary lifestyle may be more prone to developing heart conditions later in life.
This means only people with the type O blood group are at reduced risk for heart disease, which is perhaps why longevity is also the highest among people with this blood type. Additionally, coronary heart disease is also lower in these people because of reduced clotting risk.
● Gut Health
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that is notorious for causing inflammation and infections in the gut and the digestive system. As it turns out, people with certain blood types are more likely to develop these infections than others. Blood type A is particularly susceptible to H. pylori infections, closely followed by type B and AB. Here too, people with type O blood remain less vulnerable.
● Cancer Risks
H. pylori infections mentioned above can increase the risk of stomach cancers in people with type A blood. The risk of developing pancreatic cancer may also be higher in these individuals. Additionally, the ABO gene is also linked with many other malignancies like cancers of the lung, prostate, breast, colon, rectum, liver and cervix.
● Brain Function
Once again, the ABO gene is crucial here. It has been linked with memory problems and cognitive issues. Studies have shown that people with this gene (i.e. those with blood types A, B or AB) are over 80% more likely to develop memory issues than those with type O blood. Even among individuals with the ABO gene, those with type A blood may be particularly vulnerable.
While stress may no doubt be caused by many external triggers, your blood type can also influence how your body reacts to various stressors in your environment. In general, studies have revealed that people with blood type A tend to have higher cortisol levels in their bodies, leading to a lot more stress-related adverse effects.
Although research is yet to identify the reason behind it, many surveys and studies have discovered that people with blood groups A and B are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Research to identify the rationale and the genetic reasons behind this is still underway.
● Blood Clotting
The ABO gene, found in people with blood types A, B and AB, may also be the reason for increased blood clotting. This could be bad news because excessive blood clotting could increase the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), which is a condition where the blood clots occur in a deep vein and may move to the lungs, leading to life-threatening conditions. A high affinity for blood clotting may also increase the risk of strokes, as seen in people with blood group AB.
Because human health is so intricately connected to the blood type of the individual, health insurance providers typically collect this information at the time of policy purchase. Whether you are purchasing an individual health insurance plan, a family floater plan or a group health insurance plan, it is essential to provide this information as well as other details accurately.
An inaccuracy or non-disclosures at the time of applying for a health insurance policy could result in a rejection of your claim. So, ensure that you and everybody else in your family or group submit all the required details without any errors or omissions to enjoy adequate health insurance coverage.