People with A and B blood group are more at risk of heart disease while those having the rarest AB type are the most vulnerable to cardiac ailments compared to blood type O, a new research has found.
Harvard University researchers concluded people with blood group AB were 23% more likely to suffer from heart disease, while Group B blood increased the risk by 11%, and type A by 5%.
Scientists found that people with type O blood may benefit from a substance that is thought to assist blood flow and reduce clotting, an American Heart Association statement said.
"While people cannot change their blood type, our findings may help physicians better understand who is at risk for developing heart disease," Lead researcher Professor Lu Qi, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, said.
"It is good to know your blood type the same way you should know your cholesterol or blood pressure numbers. If you know you're at higher risk, you can reduce the risk by adopting a healthier lifestyle, such as eating right, exercising and not smoking," Qi said.
The findings, published in the journal 'Arteriosclerosis', are based on an analysis of two large US health and lifestyle studies which involved 62,073 women from the Nurses' Health Study and 27,428 adults from the Health Professionals.
The study compared blood groups and heart disease incidence but did not analyse the complex biological mechanisms involved.
There is evidence that type A blood is associated with higher levels of 'bad' type of cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL), which is more likely to fur up the arteries.
Scientists said that AB blood group is linked to inflammation, which also plays an important role in artery damage.
Experts warn that while blood type O may offer some protection from heart trouble, blood type alone will not compensate for other factors that are linked to cardiovascular disease.