Humans have 8 basic blood types that are considered to be common. This is despite the fact that human blood is made from the same basic elements in every person. The different typing is a reflection of the presence of antigens of the lack of them in certain combinations.
There are 4 lettered blood types: A, B, AB, and O. Each of these blood types is then assigned a positive (+) or negative (-) Rh value.
There are two types of universal donors when it comes to blood type. O blood is a universal donor for red blood cells and O Negative blood can be given to anyone, making it particularly valuable for blood donations. AB blood is a universal donor for blood plasma. Based on these blood types, some basic demographic data can be collected about how our blood makes us the same, but also creates certain differences.
Ethnicity And How It Affects Blood Typing
- The most common blood type in humans from all ethnicities is O Positive.
- Negative Rh factors are the rarest types of blood. Caucasians are 2x more likely to have a negative Rh factor compared to any other ethnic demographic and 14x more likely to have a negative blood type when compared to people from an Asian ethnicity.
- 53% of Hispanics in the US are believed to have O Positive as their blood type, making them the largest ethnicity with this type of blood.
- Caucasians are more likely to be A Positive than any other ethnic group.
- Asians are more likely to be B Positive and AB Positive than any other ethnic group.
- 98% of sickle cell issues with human blood originate from people with an African-American or Black ethnicity.
- When a blood donation is necessary, having a blood type match and an ethnicity match can lower the risks of a rejection occurring.
Your blood type is determined by your parents. Just because both of your parents have AB Positive blood, however, doesn’t actually mean that is what your blood type will be. The child of two AB+ parents could have a child with AB blood, A blood, or B blood and it could either be positive or negative. Two parents with B type blood can have a child that has O type blood. Because of these differences, it is important to make sure that you know what blood type demographic you fit into in case there is a need for medical treatment.
Geographic Distribution of Blood Alleles
- The A blood allele is somewhat more common in the world today than the B blood allele, with 1 in 5 people have the A blood allele.
- When human population groups are isolated, there is a higher level of A blood allele levels. This is particularly prevalent in the Australian Aboriginal population, which may have up to 53% prevalence of the A blood allele. The Saami people of the Northern Scandinavia may have up to a 90% prevalence.
- 63% of people do not have either the A allele or the B allele, with the highest prevalence of this being found in Central and Southern America.
- Eastern Europe and Central Asia have the lowest levels of O Blood typing, but have the highest levels of the B blood allele in the world.
- Almost every region in the world has at least a 90% Rh Positive blood factor. The lowest known region is the Basque area between France and Spain, which has just a 65% Rh Positive blood factor in the population.
In some ways, human population histories can be tracked because of the geographic prevalence of certain blood types. Yet there is still some level of variation since blood typing isn’t specific to the two parents [i.e. 2 B+ parents can have an O+ child]. This may also provide evidence of how the human race has evolved over several generations as certain types tend to have more prevalence in specific groups – especially isolated groups. Yet there is also another blood typing method that is rarely discussed in general conversation that must also be considered when looking at these demographics.
Diego Blood Typing And What It Means
- The most common Diego phenotype is Di(a-b+), which is found in over 99.9% Caucasians/Whites and Blacks/African-Americans.
- The Di(a+b+) is found in 10% of Asians.
- In the United States, the Di(a) antigen has not been found in Caucasian/White or Black/African-American blood donors.
- The Di(a) antigen is more commonly found in Oriental people of Mongolian descent, being more common in the Japanese [12%] and people from a Chinese descent [5%].
- More than half of the population of South American native tribal populations carries the Di(a) antigen.
- There are 21 identified antigens that can be tracked in Diego blood typing overall.
- People of Polish descent have a 4x higher rate of Di(a) typing when compared to the rest of the Caucasian/White population.
Human movements can also be tracked when the history of Diego typing is considered during research. For example: the reason why there is such a high level of Di(a) prevalence in the Polish population is likely because of a Mongolian invasion which occurred in the region centuries ago. Having this antigen in one’s blood with Polish ancestry, therefore, can also be an indication that there is some level of Mongolian ancestry for that individual as well. Certain regions of the world are inherently negative for certain phenotypes and certain regions are inherently positive. When combined with the ABO blood typing with which more people are familiar, a more exact look at each person’s individualized demographics can be obtained. In return, a more accurate treatment regiment can potentially be created.
Why Blood Type Demographics Are Important
- In the US, someone needs to have donor blood an average of every 2 seconds.
- 41,000. That’s the number of blood donations that are required to meet demand every day.
- 21 million blood components are transfused to patients every year.
- More than 1.6 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the US alone in the next 12 months. During chemotherapy sessions, some of these patients may need to have a blood transfusion on a daily basis.
- About 38% of the US population is eligible to donate blood, but only 10% of those who are eligible will actually make a donation.
- 9.2 million people are registered blood donors through the American Red Cross.
People need blood to live. Without a transfusion, there may be a high risk of death. By understanding the need and recognizing the value of each blood type demographic, we can all look out for one another. Blood cannot be synthesized. It must come from donors. If you have never thought about giving blood before, then speak with someone at a local blood drive to see if you are eligible to donate. Together we can all make a difference.