Dementia Risk Factors, Stroke Prevention & Other News

Your blood type may play a small role in your risk for dementia, a new study finds.

People with blood type AB, which covers about 4 percent of the population, may have an increased risk for memory problems as they age, a new study has found.

The study, published in Neurology, follows previous research potentially linking blood type to heart disease risk factors. In the latest study, people with blood type AB were almost twice as likely to have memory problems as those with type O blood, the most common blood type, the study found.

However, if you have AB blood, keep in mind that other factors contribute to the risk of developing memory problems.

A U.S. research team led by Dr. Mary Cushman, of the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, had more than 30,000 people, aged 45 and older, take a series tests to measure memory and thinking skills. They were tested again more than three years later.

Of the group tested, 495 participants scored low enough to qualify as having some memory or thinking impairment, and their blood types were compared to those of 587 participants with normal scores.

However, those with memory impairments in the study were also more likely to smoke, suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or high cholesterol.

“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 Dr. Cushman.

See blog posts we’ve done on memory or dementia issues:

  • Dementia May Signal Pneumonia in Elderly
  • Tips to Improve Your Memory
  • Prepare for Aging While Young
  •                                                                                                                –John Fernandez


    Higher Skin Cancer Risk for Flight Crews?

    The incidence of melanoma — a deadly form of skin cancer — in airline crews is two times higher than the rate of melanoma in the general public, according to a recent report in the New York Times. The report was based on analysis published online by  JAMA Dermatology and involved a review of date from 19 studies involving 266,000 people.

    The death rate for airline crews was about 42 percent higher than the general population. Why?

    “The reason is unclear, but ultraviolet A radiation exposure, which at 30,000 feet is twice what it is on the ground, is a well-established risk factor for melanoma, and airplane window glass blocks it only minimally,” the Times reported.

    In 2014 alone, there have been about 76,100 new cases of melanoma and nearly 10,000 deaths for that form of skin cancer in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute.

    Several stories about skin cancer have appeared on this blog:

  • Exposed! Sun Safety for Sporting Events
  • Skin Cancer Does Not Discriminate
  • Melanoma: Learn Your ABCDs
  • 4 Ways to Protect Your Skin
  • The Risks of Tanning
  •                                                                                     — Sharon Harvey Rosenberg


    Stroke Smart?

    Do you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes? If yes, you may be at risk of having a stroke. Strove prevention is a popular topic on this blog: 

  • Knowing the Facts About Strokes Can Save Lives 
  • New Guidelines for Heart Disease, Stroke Prevention
  • The Link Between Insomnia and Stroke
  • West Kendall Baptist Hospital Emergency Department Medical Director, Joseph Scott, M.D., will discuss stroke signs, symptoms, risk factors, treatment and prevention.  Take advantage of free cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and BMI screenings, and discuss your results with Baptist Health experts.

    The program is free on Saturday, Sept. 20, 9 a.m.-12 noon at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, located at 9555 SW 162 Ave.  Reservations are required. To reserve your space,  email or call 786-596-3812.


    Healthcare that Cares

    With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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