A stroke is a dangerous acute illness, often occurring suddenly, that can lead to life-threatening consequences if not detected early and treated promptly.
Stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition in which poor blood flow to the brain causes cell death. According to Medical News Today, nearly 800,000 people experience at least a stroke a year.
As one of the most fatal conditions, strokes can lead to undesirable health effects such as speech/language problems, slow behavioral style, tiredness or fatigue, and paralysis in parts of the body.
What is a stroke?
According to Everyday Health News, a stroke is a cerebrovascular disease, which means that it takes a toll on brain activities.
When blood flow to the brain is hampered or a blood vessel in the brain is damaged, the brain does not receive sufficient oxygen and nutrients for functioning its cells. As a result, brain cells gradually die, leading to life-threatening complications.
The main types of stroke
There are three main types of stroke:
- Ischemic stroke: This is the most common type of stroke, accounting for 87% of all cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An artery blockage prevents blood and oxygen from reaching an area of the brain. Preventive measures can detect early signs and help avoid the disease.
- Thrombotic stroke: A blockage caused by the formation of blood clots or by plaque buildup in an artery in the neck or brain.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: This type of stroke is caused by a rupture of the brain's surface or a hemorrhagic artery, which can be caused by an aneurysm, a deformed cerebrovascular system. Hemorrhagic stroke accounts for about 10% of all strokes.
Is blood type linked to having a stroke?
A person's blood type, which indicates the diversity of chemicals on the surfaced of our red blood cells, may be linked their likelihood of an early stroke. Different blood types, namely A, B, AB, and O, indicates different probabilities of developing a stroke.
The findings is made from a new meta-analysis of more than 600,000 patients in 48 studies, published in journal Neurology with data from genetic studies on ischemic strokes - the most popular type of stroke. Patients include 17,000 stroke patients and nearly 600,000 healthy controls who had never experienced a stroke.
The study found that there was a connection between early-onset stroke, describing strokes that occur before age 60, and the area of the chromosome that includes the gene that determines whether a blood type is A, B, AB, or O.
Which blood type is the most likely to have a stroke?
According to the findings, those who had early-onset stroke were more likely to have blood type A and less likely to have blood type O. Specifically, people of the A group had a 16% higher chance of a stroke before they reach 60, compared to people of other blood types.
It’s still uncertain as to why people of blood type A are prone to a higher risk, but researchers think it might have something to do with blood clotting factors.
The study’s co-principal investigator Braxton Mitchell told Euronews Next:
'Having blood type A increases your risk by about 16 per cent for early-onset stroke, but only about 5 per cent for later onset stroke. If you have blood type O, you're 12 per cent less likely to get one.'
Weak link between blood type and stroke
Despite the findings, scientists still emphasized that the increased risk of having a stroke in people of blood type A was very modest. As a result, extra screening, medical testing or pressure from these findings are not necessary, notes Euronews.
'Clinically, we shouldn't be worried about our blood types putting us at high risk for stroke.'
Instead, the scientist draws attention to other factors that can lead to a stroke, including a bad lifestyle and eating habits. He said:
'There are other risk factors for stroke that are much more important, like hypertension and smoking, for example. So if we want to reduce our risk of stroke, those are really the factors that we should be paying attention to.'