A lot of people are unaware of their blood type and they think it is fine because hospitals check your blood type before a lot of treatments anyway. However, knowing your blood type can help you be more aware of your risk of developing certain medical conditions.
There are four blood types: A, B, AB, and O. A lot of studies have linked different blood groups with issues such as infertility and heart diseases. Even though, none of these studies were able to establish a cost and effect relationship, they did highlight the importance of knowing your blood group.
Understanding Blood Types
All blood consists of plasma, red and white blood cells and platelets, but your genes, which are passed down from your parents, dictate the antigens (protein markers) that you have. Blood types are classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the antigen.
Blood type groups include:
- Group A only has the A antigen on red cells (and B antibody in the plasma)
- Group B only has the B antigen on red cells (and A antibody in the plasma)
- Group AB has both A and B antigens on red cells (but neither A nor B antibody in the plasma)
- Group O has neither A nor B antigens on red cells (but both A and B antibody are in the plasma)
The positive or negative distinction in your blood type has to do with the Rhesus (Rh) factor, which can be present (+, or positive) or absent (-, or negative) in each group. If your blood is in group A, for instance, you could be type A-positive or type A, depending on whether your blood has the Rh factor.
Now, let’s go over some of the reasons why you should know your blood type.
1- To Save Time During A Case of Emergency:
If the patient requires a blood transfusion urgently, a lot of time can be saved if you know your blood group beforehand. Therefore, it can not only be helpful to be aware of your own blood group, you should also encourage your friends and family to know their blood time as it can save valuable minutes during critical situations.
2- To Be Aware Of Your Risk For Certain Medical Conditions:
According to Danish researchers, people with the blood type AB, A, or B were at a higher risk for deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) than people with type O. DVT is a blood clot which forms in a vein deep in the body, usually in the lower legs, and travels to lungs. It can be life-threatening. According to Time, further research revealed that the AB blood group contributed to nearly 20 percent of blood clots, obesity accounted for 16 percent, genetic mutations accounted for 11 percent, and smoking accounted for 6 percent.
Harvard scientists have found that compared to people with the blood group O, people with AB blood had a 23 percent higher risk for heart diseases, individuals with type B blood had an 11 percent increased risk, and people with blood group A had 5 percent higher risk.
According to research by Albert Einstein College of Medicine, blood type O reduces fertility. Moreover, the Rh factor, which determines if the blood type is positive or negative, can influence pregnancy risks. For instance, if the baby has a positive blood type and the baby has a negative one, the mother’s body could end up building antibodies against the blood type of the baby. Fortunately, this doesn’t harm the baby but it could complicate future pregnancies.
A Neurology study has found out that individuals with blood group AB are a higher risk of developing dementia later in life. However, keep in mind that blood type is neither the only nor the most important factor which affects your risk for developing any disease. Factors like diet, environment and lifestyle are also responsible for developing different types of diseases.
3- To Know More About Your Genetic Blueprint:
You can also understand more about things such as how you age, how you naturally react to stress, and how your body reacts to food if you know your blood type.
4- To Know Your Donor Type
One of the best reasons to know your blood group is to help others through blood donations. Sometimes, local organizations may put out a call for specific types, especially if there has been a natural disaster, tragedy or increase in traffic accidents. Types O-negative and O-positive are in high demand, most often.
Ideally, blood transfusions are done with donated blood that’s an exact match for both type and Rh factor. However:
- Blood group AB-positive is the universal recipient and can receive blood from all types despite only being able to donate to other AB types
- Blood group O is commonly known as the universal donor because of its ability to supply red blood cells to nearly any recipient
- The universal plasma donor is a person who has type AB blood
- The universal red cell donor is someone who has type O blood
Your doctor can prescribe a test which will determine your blood group. You can find and book an appointment with top General physicians in Islamabad, Karachi and Faisalabad through Oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your health concerns.