"Our findings support a strong relationship between blood group and diabetes risk, with participants with the O blood type having a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes," said Guy Fagherazzi from Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health in France.

For the study, the researchers collected data from more than 80,000 women in France followed between 1990 and 2008.

The results showed that, compared to women with group O blood, women with group A were 10 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and those with group B were 21 percent more likely.

The AB group was 17 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.

Compared with O- women, the highest increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes was found in B+ (35 percent increased risk), followed by AB+ (26 percent), A- (22 percent), A+ (17 percent).

"The present study shows for the first time in a large prospective cohort that specific ABO blood groups are associated with an increased Type 2 diabetes risk," Fagherazzi said.

The authors say that the reasons behind the association are currently unknown, but could be related to a number of factors.

It has been suggested that the human ABO locus might influence endothelial or inflammation markers.

ABO grouping is also associated with various molecules known to be connected to Type 2 diabetes.

The study was published in the journal Diabetologia.

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