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The media has been reporting on new research published in American Academy of Neurology journal linking certain blood types to higher risk of a stroke. So can your blood type make you more or less likely to have a stroke? And is there anything you can do about it? 

Dr Clare Jonas, Research Communications and Engagement Lead says:

“The majority of strokes happen to older people, due to reasons we are commonly aware of such as high blood pressure, thickening of the arteries or atrial fibrillation. The causes of stroke in younger adults aren’t as well understood, which makes them harder to prevent.

“This study involved a genetic analysis of the blood types of nearly 17,000 people who’d had a stroke. They found that people with blood type A had an increased risk of an early stroke (between 18 and 60). Those with blood type O had a decreased risk, with people who have type B or AB somewhere in the middle. 

“We don’t yet know why people with blood type A might be at increased risk of early stroke. This means we can’t yet develop targeted preventions for early stroke. However, this research is a great step towards helping healthcare professionals figure out who would most benefit from monitoring for other risk factors and being offered interventions to help reduce risk. Everyone should take steps to monitor and manage their stroke risk. The biggest thing you can do to reduce your risk of stroke is to monitor your blood pressure and live a healthy and active lifestyle.”