Can Your Blood Type Reveal Your Heritage?
Updated on March 1, 2024
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Can Your Blood Type Reveal Your Heritage?

Your blood type is determined by genes passed down from your parents. These genes control whether you have certain markers (called antigens) on your red blood cells. The most important systems are ABO (determining A, B, AB, or O types) and Rh factor (positive or negative).

Blood Types Vary Across the Globe

Blood TypePossible Ancestry CluesNotes
O (most common worldwide)Found in high frequencies across most populationsLess specific for pinpointing ancestry
AMore common in parts of Europe and Central AsiaCan suggest ancestry from these regions
BMore common in parts of Asia and AfricaCan suggest ancestry from these regions
ABLess common overallMay indicate a mix of ancestries

The most common blood type worldwide is O-positive, but the most common type changes depending on location and ethnicity.  Here are some examples:

  • Pakistan – Most common type is B-positive
  • Armenia – Most common type is A-positive
  • United States – Type O is most common across the board, but its frequency is higher in Black and Hispanic Americans compared to Caucasians

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What This Means for Ancestry

Knowing common blood types in different regions can clue you in on your ancestors’ origins.  However, blood type is just one piece of the puzzle. DNA ancestry tests provide much more detailed information.

Blood Types and Health

Interestingly, your blood type might also be linked to your risk of certain diseases:

  • Type A blood may come with a slightly higher risk of stomach cancer
  • Some rare blood types are linked to specific inherited conditions

Your blood type offers interesting insights, but it’s just one part of understanding your genetic heritage and health. Scientists are still learning about the fascinating connections between blood types, ancestry, and disease.

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Updated on March 1, 2024
Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad
Content Contributor
Angela is a full-time digital content manager and editor for Know Your DNA. She also contributes freelance articles to several local and international websites when she has the time. She's always been a voracious believer in finding the truth and ensuring the science is sound.