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Blood Type May Affect Your Memory

Update Date: Sep 11, 2014 09:09 AM EDT

People with blood type AB may be more likely to develop memory loss in later years than people with other blood types, according to a new study. 

AB is the least common blood type found in U.S. population (around 4 percent). The study found that people with AB blood were 82 percent more likely to develop the 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 in Burlington. "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."

People with AB blood type made up 6 percent of the group who developed cognitive impairment - higher than the 4 percent found in the population.

The study also considered blood levels of factor VIII, a protein that helps blood to clot. The study found that High levels of factor VIII are related to higher risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. 

The study has been published in the journal Neurology

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