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Blood type may affect the risk of stroke

Certain blood types may be associated with higher incidences of stroke, a new study says.

People with an AB blood type and women with B were more likely to suffer a stroke compared to those with O, according to researchers who presented their findings at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2011 in Orlando on Wednesday.

The study involved more than 90,000 men and women in two observational studies during a period of over 20 years. Researchers discovered when compared to blood type O, women and men with AB had a higher risk of stroke, 28 percent and 32 percent, respectively. In addition, blood type B was linked to a 17 percent increased risk of stroke in women, but not in men.

The findings may not be a direct correlation since other factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, and exercise, also contribute to the prospect of having a stroke. But researchers say it should give people an incentive to stay healthy.

“It’s not at the level where we want to alarm people and we want to make that clear. But it’s one more element of risk that people would want to know about and it could give them one more reason to keep blood pressure and cholesterol in line,” said Dr. JoAnn Manson, of one of study leaders.