More than 200,000 people in Germany suffer a stroke every year. The number of those affected is steadily increasing. A study now shows that having a blood type can increase the risk of a stroke. What you need to know.

Stroke is the second leading cause of death in Germany. This is what the Robert Koch Institute writes in a report. The term “stroke” summarizes all acute vascular or circulatory disorders of the brain, which usually occur suddenly and can have serious health consequences.

A study by the Global Burdan of Disease (GBD) project recently documented a dramatic increase in the number of stroke cases worldwide. The increase in the number of cases in younger age groups under 70 is particularly noteworthy. Research into possible causes of the disease is all the more relevant.

A new study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) now shows that blood type affects the likelihood of a person having a stroke or not. The results were published in the journal Neurology.

The researchers analyzed 48 different studies with a total of almost 616,000 subjects between the ages of 18 and 60, of whom 5825 had suffered a stroke before and 9269 after the age of 60. The aim was to gain insight into why increasingly younger people are suffering from a stroke and why more of them are dying as a result.

As study leader Steven Kittner, professor of neurology at UMSOM, told the American Society for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), younger sufferers tend to have a higher risk of dying from the “life-threatening event”. In addition, the survivors might have to live with a disability for decades, the researcher explains.

Using a genetic analysis, the research team identified differences in the stroke risk of the individual blood groups:

In the subjects over 60 years of age, there was no significant difference compared to blood group A. As the researchers write, the increase with age, regardless of genetics, could be due to other risk factors such as hypertension (high blood pressure) or smoking.

In addition to high blood pressure and smoking, the following risk factors can promote a stroke:

The researchers also found that the risk of thrombosis can also be related to the blood group:

The results are particularly important for further research into possible causes of early strokes that occur before the age of 60. In a press release, study author Braxton D. Mitchell confirms that the “association of blood type with later stroke is much weaker than that we found with early stroke.”

Why the blood type carries a significantly higher risk is still unclear: “We still don’t know why blood type A carries a higher risk, but it probably has something to do with blood clotting factors such as platelets and cells that line the blood vessels, as well as with other circulating proteins, all of which play a role in blood clot formation,” explains Kittner. In any case, further investigations are needed to clarify the underlying mechanisms. Because the analyzes currently only show connections, not causes. The researchers also emphasized that those with blood group A need not worry, as the increased risk is moderate.

If a stroke occurs, you should react immediately and call the emergency doctor (telephone 112). The more time that elapses before treatment, the more brain tissue dies and the more serious the consequences can be. The first signs of a stroke usually appear suddenly and unexpectedly, they usually appear as follows:

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