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Memory Loss more Prevalent in People with AB Blood Type
- Updated: September 12, 2014
As discovered in a new study, people with AB blood type have a 4% greater risk for memory loss. Findings of the study were published in the Journal Neurology and according to Dr. Mary Cushman of the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, people with AB blood, which is the rarest of all types, are more likely to develop cognitive issues to include memory loss with age.
From the study, researchers were able to identify an 82% higher risk of developing memory and thinking problems in people with AB type blood, which can lead to Dementia.
For this study, more than 30,000 people over the age of 45 were followed for a three-year period. For participants with no thinking or memory problem at the start of the study, 495 eventually developed cognitive issues during this timeframe. These individuals were then compared to 587 people who had no cognitive issues.
It was discovered that 6% of participants with AB blood developed some type of cognitive impairment. This percentage is higher than in the general population with a rate of just 4%. Dr. Cushman continues by stating that the study was designed to look at blood type and any associated risk to cognitive issues.
Several additional studies of this type of have shown things like diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension increase risk of cognitive impairment, as well as Dementia. Dr. Cushman, author of the new study, goes on to say that the type of blood is also linked to conditions like stroke and that while findings show direct connections with brain health and vascular issues, additional research is still needed.
Another area of the study was Factor VIII, which is a protein that aids in blood clotting. Researchers also found that in people with higher levels of this protein, risk of developing cognitive issues and Dementia increases. In fact, of the participants with high levels of Factor VIII, there was a 24% risk increase than found in participants with normal ranges of the protein.
By focusing on blood type and Factor VIII, researchers discovered a higher than average level of the protein in people with AB blood. However, additional discoveries were made in a 2012 study conducted by researchers from Harvard University. In that study, experts confirmed a 23% higher risk for developing coronary heart diseae in people with AB blood opposed to those with other blood types.
As noted by Dr. Simon Ridley, head of research with the Alzheimer’s Research UK, although there have been studies that seem to prove a direct link between risk of coronary heart disease and people with AB blood type, it is far too early to confirm a higher risk actually exists.
Maintaining a Healthy Brain and Heart
He also says that according to the most recent evidence, it appears the best way to keep the brain healthy is by following a well-balanced diet, getting daily exercise, and not smoking. The Mayo Clinic also weighs in on the issue by providing the public with helpful tips on keeping both the brain and heart healthy, regardless of blood type.
• Never use tobacco products
• Get a minimum of 30 minutes exercise daily
• Adopt a well-balanced diet
• Maintain healthy weight
• Get quality sleep
• Have regular health checkups
• Stay mentally active
• Socialize often
• Get and stay organized