Does Blood Type Affect Your Health?

There’s more to blood type than meets the eye.

Blood bag in hospital laboratory

A+? B-? O+? Do you know your blood type? If you don’t, you aren’t alone. Only 66% of Americans reportedly do. However, knowing your blood type can pay off big time. You can learn not only to whom you can donate blood to but also whom you can receive blood from.

Additionally, recent research shows that your blood type may increase your risk for certain health conditions and diseases. By knowing yours, you can take the needed precautions to stay healthy.

Here are some health conditions that happen to be more common for certain blood types than others.

Autoimmune diseases

Your blood type can influence your risk for autoimmune diseases, which is a disease characterized by the body’s response to its own and foreign cells. With autoimmune diseases, your body cannot tell the difference and attacks normal cells. Types A and B have an increased risk of developing lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and undifferentiated connective tissue disease.

There is also a high ratio of people with type O blood who have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, which is a disorder where the body attacks its thyroid gland. Furthermore, those with type A blood have been shown to produce more cortisol (the stress hormone) throughout the body. This can cause them to not handle stress very well and struggle with chronic inflammation.

Lastly, AB blood has been linked to the least number of autoimmune diseases.


Type 2 diabetes is, of course, linked to several lifestyle factors like obesity and genetics, but recent studies are finding a correlation between this disease and blood type. One study found women with B+ blood have a 35% higher risk of type 2 diabetes, women with AB+ blood were at 26% higher risk, and type A- and A+ were at 22% and 17% higher risk.

Related: 3 Ways to Prevent or Control Diabetes


Type A blood, which is the second most common blood type in the U.S., is linked to health conditions like stomach and pancreatic cancers because this type often has higher levels of bodily inflammation. Those with type AB are also 34% more likely to develop esophageal cancer. Type B blood was also shown to have a 72% higher chance than type O in developing pancreatic cancer.

Related: 7 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Other health conditions

According to research, people with type O blood have the least risk for heart disease and blood clot issues because non-O type blood has a higher percentage of blood-clotting proteins. But, while type O blood is one of the least risky blood types when it comes to disease and health conditions, it is often connected to infertility issues.

Type AB blood, while being the least common blood type, is also showing up more in elderly people who struggle with cognitive issues, memory loss, or dementia.

Overall, blood type is just one small part of your entire body’s makeup. Even though there are certain risks correlating with certain blood types, the best thing you can do is take care of your body and overall health.

Be aware of how your body feels, your family’s health history, and the health risks associated with your genetics. Get routine checkups and age-appropriate screenings with your healthcare provider. Doing this will keep your body in top shape.

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