Blood type may indicate heart attack risk from pollution

Blood type may indicate heart attack risk from pollution

A study of 14 years of patient data discovered that the risk of a heart attack or chest pain doubled for people of type A, B, or AB blood when pollution hits high levels. This new study was created to build on and tie together those findings and test the influence of one variation: the impact of an individual's blood type.

Their findings show that the risk is especially higher for non-O blood types when PM2.5 concentration rises above 25 micrograms per cubic metre of air.

"The primary mutation we studied differentiates between O blood types and non-O, which includes positive and negative A, B, and AB blood types", says Horne.

Lead investigator Dr Benjamin Horne said: "We wondered, if someone has a specific variation in this ABO gene, are they more or less likely to experience a heart attack in times of higher pollution?"

"The one that's been found in genetic studies to be lower risk is O. The other three were higher risk".

The kind of blood you have could increase or decrease your risk of having a heart attack in response to high levels of air pollution, new research suggests.

Specifically, people with coronary artery disease who have A, B or AB blood types are more likely than those with the O blood type to have a heart attack when exposed to high levels of small particulate PM2.5 air pollution.

For patients who are concerned about the findings, Horne says there is something you can do to reduce your risk: "Stay indoors out of pollution".

Dozens of genes have been shown in large worldwide studies to predict the onset of coronary artery disease in people who are free of the disease.

So at the 65 micrograms per cubic metre pollution level, a person with type O blood faces risk that is 40 per cent higher than if the air wasn't polluted.

The study had looked at clinical data for Intermountain Healthcare patients who were treated between 1993 and 2007.

Results of the study were reported to the 2017 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Anaheim, California on Tuesday.

Recent research by the World Health Organisation found that 44 major United Kingdom towns and cities now breach WHO guidelines on air quality with particulate levels so high they cause six million sick days each year.

During a winter inversion, the PM2.5 pollution level can occasionally reach as high as 100 micrograms per cubic meter, but 50-60 is more typical.

Moreover, people with type O blood also have higher risk of heart attack or unstable chest pain in times of high air pollution.

They claim their study is unique in that it links increased risk of a heart attack associated with small particulate pollution to increased risk of heart attack for people with certain blood types who have coronary artery disease. "Exercise indoors. And make sure [you are] compliant with taking heart medication to reduce [your] risk".