People with A, B, or AB blood type, might run a greater risk of suffering a heart attack during periods of significant air pollution, than those with the O blood type, according to new research.
The research showed, when pollution hits the mark of 25 micrograms per cubic metre, it increases the risk for people with non-O blood types.
IANS quoted lead investigator Benjamin Horne, clinical epidemiologist from the Intermountain Heart Institute in Utah, US, ''Once you go above that, each additional 10 micrograms of pollution per cubic metre of air provided substantially higher risks.''
''At levels higher than 25 micrograms per cubic metre of pollution, the increase in risk is linear, while below that level there's little, if any, difference in risk.''
In the study, the researchers focused on differences between O blood types and non-O, which includes positive and negative A, B, and AB blood types.
''The one that's been found in genetic studies to be lower risk is O. The other three were higher risk,'' Horne said.
However, ''this association between heart attacks and pollution in patients with non-O blood isn't something to panic over, but it is something to be aware of'', he said.
The ABO gene, which is present in people who have A, B, and AB blood types, is the only gene to have been validated in large international studies to predict heart attacks among people with coronary disease, researchers said.
"We wondered, if someone has a specific variation in this ABO gene, are they more or less likely to experience a heart attack in times of higher pollution?" said Horne, PTI reported.
"The primary mutation we studied differentiates between O blood types and non-O, which includes positive and negative A, B, and AB blood types. The one that has been found in genetic studies to be lower risk is O. The other three were higher risk," he added.