Our blood types can tell a lot about our health, from risk for pancreatic cancer to overall stress levels. According to a new study, your blood type may also inform doctors of your personal risk for heart troubles. The research found that having a blood type other than "O" may be associated with a higher risk of heart attack and overall poorer heart health.

The study, presented today at the Heart Failure 2017 and the 4th World Congress on Acute Heart Failure meeting found that having a non-O blood group may raise your risk of having a heart attack by 9 percent, and put you at higher risk for overall cardiovascular mortality by 9 percent. According to the team, led by Tessa Kole, a master's degree student at the University Medical Centre Groningen in the Netherlands, these findings may have important implications for personalized medicine.

Read: 6 Ways Blood Type Can Influence Personal Health: From Mild Stress To Cancer

For the study, the team looked at the health of 771,113 people with a non-O blood group and 519,743 people with an O blood group, of whom 11,437(1.5%) and 7,220 (1.4%) suffered a coronary event. Results showed that the odds ratio for all coronary events was significantly higher in carriers of a non-O blood group.

It's not clear why these blood groups are at increased risk for heart problems, but researchers suspect it may be due to having larger concentrations of von Willebrand factor, a blood-clotting protein which has been associated with heart events. In addition, according to the research, non-O blood group carriers, specifically those with an A blood group, are known to have higher cholesterol and have higher amounts of galectin-3, which is linked to inflammation and worse outcomes in heart failure patients.

“More research is needed to identify the cause of the apparent increased cardiovascular risk in people with a non-O blood group,” added Kole in a recent statement. “Obtaining more information about risk in each non-O blood group (A, B, and AB) might provide further explanations of the causes."

Individuals with non-O type blood are also at increased risk for pancreatic cancer, as a study from Yale University found that people with type O blood have a special protection from pancreatic cancer. This protection is based on a common species of gut bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori , or H. pylori which is more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. The bacteria thrive on the A and B antigens, and as people with type O blood have none of these, the bacteria will not thrive as well in their gut.

There are times, however, when having a non-O blood type is advantageous, as this blood type is less able to fight off cholera, SciShow reported.

Source: Kole T, et al. ABO blood group and cardiovascular outcomes in the general population: a meta-analysis. Heart Failure 2017 and the 4th World Congress on Acute Heart Failure

See Also:

Blood Type And Brain Health: Type O Protects Against Cognitive Decline Via Gray Matter

What Your Blood Type Says About Whether You’ll Survive Disease