Is it Too Late to Change My Blood Type?

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redbloodcellsTo boost my health I’ve made sacrifices (adios mac and cheese, donuts, fries…), only sit when I must, and slather on near-triple-digit SPF—but now comes news there’s an unfixable trait.

Our blood type itself.

It appears that people with blood type AB may have a greater chance of experiencing memory loss when they grow old than people with other blood types, according to a study published in Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The good news, I guess, is that this blood type is the least common, coursing through the veins of only about 4 percent of people in the United States. Researchers discovered that those with AB blood were 82 percent likelier to develop cognitive problems that may give rise to dementia than those with other blood types.

Yet another reason I’d prefer to self-select: earlier studies found people with type O blood have less risk for heart disease and stroke, which themselves can raise the risk of memory loss and dementia.

I suppose I could hope the researchers were all nonagenarians with type AB (which might make us take a closer look), but alas, this study was part of a larger one that included 30,000-plus people who were tracked for more than three years. Those with AB blood type comprised 6 percent of the group who developed cognitive impairment, which tops the aforementioned 4 percent.

Since other studies have implicated high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes in elevating risk of cognitive impairment and dementia—and since I can’t change my blood type—let’s hear it for roughage. Green is gorgeous. Woo hoo!

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