If You Have This Blood Type, You're High Risk for Diabetes, Study Says

Kali Coleman
·4 min read

Diabetes is a daunting disease that requires lifetime management. But while the condition can lead to some serious complications, getting ahead of diabetes will help you have the best outcome. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes if you're prediabetic. But even outside of that diagnosis, there are surprising factors that could increase your risk of developing the disease. According to one study, your blood type can actually affect your diabetes risk. Read on to find out what your blood type means for your chances of diabetes, and for more on what your blood type can predict, If You Have This Blood Type, Your Heart Attack Risk Is Higher, Study Says.

If you have a non-O blood type, you're at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes.

A 2014 study published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, observed more than 80,000 women to determine the relationship between blood type and the risk for type 2 diabetes. During a follow-up where 3,553 participants had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the researchers found that those with a non-O blood type had a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those with blood type O. The researchers said this assessment, while only done in women, can be associated with men as well, as "no biological mechanisms are likely to explain a sex-dependent association."

"Our findings support a strong relationship between blood group and diabetes risk, with participants with the O blood type having a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes," study co-author Guy Fagherazzi, PhD, director of the department of population health at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, said in a statement. And for more ways to determine your chance of developing diabetes, This Quick Trick Can Determine Your Diabetes Risk, Study Says.

People with blood type B have the highest risk of diabetes

According to the study, those with blood type A were 10 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes when compared to women who had type O blood. However, women with type B blood were 21 percent more likely than those with type O blood to develop type 2 diabetes. And when comparing every combination of these blood types with O negative (O-), which is the universal donor group, women with the B positive (B+) blood type had the highest increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes at a 35 percent increase. And for more health guidance, If You're Taking This OTC Medicine More Than Twice a Week, See a Doctor.

There may be a few reasons why these blood types are more at risk.

While the researchers noted that the reasoning behind the association between diabetes risk and blood type is still unknown, they did offer a few possible connections. According to the study, a protein in the blood known as von Willebrand factor is higher in non-O individuals and it has been associated with elevated levels in type 2 diabetes patients. The researchers also said that these blood types are associated with various molecules known to be connected with type 2 diabetes. Finally, blood type can determine someone's overall gut microbe composition, according to a 2012 study in Gut Microbes, and this affects metabolism, which plays a role in diabetes. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Type 2 diabetes can result in very serious complications if it is not managed.

Type 2 diabetes affects the way the "body regulates and uses sugar," according to the Mayo Clinic. This condition raises blood sugar levels, which can be highly dangerous over time if it is not treated and managed. According to the Mayo Clinic, potential complications of diabetes include heart disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, eye damage, and even dementia. Signs you may have type 2 diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, fatigue, and numbness or tingling in the hands or feet. And for more health advice, If You're Doing This in the Shower, Doctors Say to Stop Immediately.