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This Blood Type Puts You at Risk for Dementia

This blood type, which almost doubles your risk.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

The progressive brain disorder known as dementia remains one of the most mysterious disorders—researchers aren't sure why some people get it, how to prevent it, or how to cure it. But in recent years, science has uncovered some intriguing clues, including some red flags in the blood that may indicate an increased risk of dementia. One is this blood type, which almost doubles your risk of developing the disorder. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

This Blood Type Poses Highest Risk

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According to a study published in the journal Neurology, people with blood type AB are 82 percent more likely to develop thinking and memory problems that can lead to dementia than people with other blood types

"Our study looks at blood type and risk of cognitive impairment, but several studies have shown that factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes increase the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia," said study author Mary Cushman, MD, MSc, of the University of Vermont College of Medicine. "Blood type is also related to other vascular conditions like stroke, so the findings highlight the connections between vascular issues and brain health. More research is needed to confirm these results."

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2

The Potential Reason Behind The Risk

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The potential culprit: Factor VII, a protein that helps blood to clot. People with AB blood have a higher average level of factor VII than people with other blood types, and high levels of factor VII are associated with a higher risk of dementia.

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3

Other Risks of Type AB Blood

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Having type AB blood has been shown to carry a higher risk of stomach and pancreatic cancer. AB blood has also been linked to a higher risk of symptomatic and severe COVID-19. 

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4

What Is Dementia?

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Dementia is an umbrella term for several disorders of the brain that involve changes to memory, thinking, personality, and judgment. Ultimately, these changes interfere with a person's ability to function and live an independent life. Most cases of dementia are diagnosed in people older than 65. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting about 6.2 million Americans. 

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5

Other Risks for Dementia

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Experts aren't sure why some older people develop dementia and others don't. But blood type isn't the only factor that studies have found increase your risk of the disease. Other risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Family history of dementia
  • Unhealthy lifestyle (poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol use, obesity)
  • Cardiovascular disease (including high blood pressure or poorly controlled diabetes)
  • Head injury
  • Low social or cognitive engagement

And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael