Utah study shows your blood type and air pollution could put you at higher risk for heart attack

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MURRAY, Utah – When it comes to the effects of air quality, it could come down to your blood type, according to a new study conducted by Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute and B.Y.U.

Dr. Benjamin Horne is the lead investigator of the study, and is a clinic epidemiologist at IMC’s Heart Institute. He studied 14 years of patient records and pollution data from monitoring centers across the state. From that, he discovered people with three blood types – A, B, or AB are more likely to have a heart attack when exposed to dirty air.

“It’s a 75% higher risk for the non O blood types and only a 30% risk for the O blood type," Horne said.

Horne said most will not have a heart attack, unless they have existing coronary artery disease. He warned people to stay indoors to minimize their risk.

“If you have to do something outdoors, try to do it in the early morning at times when the PM 2.5 is lower,” said Horne.

Another way to reduce your risk is to take your heart medication.

“Know what your individual risks are. And that’s part of what this study is about is knowing what your blood type is and what your susceptibilities are so you can plan and be prepared,” said Horne.

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