Latest Research on ABO Blood : Nov 2020

ABO Blood Group and the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer


Other than several rare, highly penetrant familial syndromes, genetic risk factors for sporadic pancreatic cancer are largely unknown. ABO blood type is an inherited characteristic that in previous small studies has been associated with the risk of gastrointestinal malignancies.


We separately examined the relationship between ABO blood type and the risk of incident pancreatic cancer in two large, independent, prospective cohort studies (the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study) that collected blood group data on 107 503 US health professionals. Hazard ratios for pancreatic cancer by ABO blood type were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for other known risk factors, including age, tobacco use, body mass index, physical activity, and history of diabetes mellitus. All statistical tests were two-sided.


During 927 995 person-years of follow-up, 316 participants developed pancreatic cancer. ABO blood type was associated with the risk of developing pancreatic cancer ( P = .004; log-rank test). Compared with participants with blood group O, those with blood groups A, AB, or B were more likely to develop pancreatic cancer (adjusted hazard ratios for incident pancreatic cancer were 1.32 [95% confidence interval {CI} = 1.02 to 1.72], 1.51 [95% CI = 1.02 to 2.23], and 1.72 [95% CI = 1.25 to 2.38], respectively). The association between blood type and pancreatic cancer risk was nearly identical in the two cohorts ( Pinteraction  = .97). Overall, 17% of the pancreatic cancer cases were attributable to inheriting a non-O blood group (blood group A, B, or AB). The age-adjusted incidence rates for pancreatic cancer per 100 000 person-years were 27 (95% CI = 23 to 33) for participants with blood type O, 36 (95% CI = 26 to 50) for those with blood type A, 41 (95% CI = 31 to 56) for those with blood type AB, and 46 (95% CI = 32 to 68) for those with blood type B.


In two large, independent populations, ABO blood type was statistically significantly associated with the risk of pancreatic cancer. Further studies are necessary to define the mechanisms by which ABO blood type or closely linked genetic variants may influence pancreatic cancer risk. [1]

The ABO blood group system and Plasmodium falciparum malaria

In the century since the discovery of the ABO blood groups, numerous associations between ABO groups and disease have been noted. However, the selection pressures defining the ABO distributions remain uncertain. We review published information on Plasmodium falciparum infection and ABO blood groups. DNA sequence information dates the emergence and development of the group O allele to a period of evolution before human migration out of Africa, concomitant with P falciparum’s activity. The current geographic distribution of group O is also consistent with a selection pressure by P falciparum in favor of group O individuals in malaria-endemic regions. We critically review clinical reports of ABO and P falciparum infection, documenting a correlation between disease severity and ABO group. Finally, we review published data on the pathogenesis of P falciparum infection, and propose a biologic model to summarize the role of ABO blood groups in cytoadherence biology. Such ABO-related mechanisms also point to a new hypothesis to account for selection of the Le(a−b−) phenotype. Taken together, a broad range of available evidence suggests that the origin, distribution, and relative proportion of ABO blood groups in humans may have been directly influenced by selective genetic pressure from P falciparum infection. [2]

ABO blood group and cancer


ABO blood type has been associated with various malignancies, including pancreatic cancer. Our aim was to study this association using data from a hospital-based tumour registry.


From the tumour registry, we retrieved data from 15,359 cancer patients treated during 2000–2003 at the European Institute of Oncology (Milan, Italy), with defined ABO blood type. We performed a case-control analysis, comparing the distribution of ABO blood types of patients with each specific form of cancer against that of patients with other forms of cancer. We also reviewed the literature and performed a meta-analysis on the association between ABO blood group and pancreatic cancer.


We observed a significantly lower frequency of blood type O in patients with exocrine pancreatic cancer compared to patients with other forms of cancer (29% versus 44%; P < 0.001; odds ratio (OR), 0.53; 95% confidence intervals (CI), 0.33–0.83). This association was confirmed by the meta-analysis of seven prior studies (summary relative risk, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.70–0.90). No association was found for endocrine pancreatic cancer or for cancer originating in other organs.


Our data suggest that the association between ABO blood group and cancer is limited to exocrine pancreas malignancy. [3]

Association between ABO Blood Type and Cervical Dysplasia/Carcinoma in Jamaican Women

Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of death from cancer among women worldwide and is the most common female cancer in developing countries. In Jamaica, at 27.5 per 100, 000 it is second only to breast cancer as a cause of cancer death in women. Several studies have suggested an association between blood type A and cervical dysplasia/cancer. The aim of this study was to determine whether presence of cervical dysplasia/cancer is associated with blood type A in Jamaican women. Blood was collected from 319 women, 234 cases (abnormal Pap smears) and 85 controls (normal Pap smears). Blood type was determined by the determination of isoagglutinins (anti-A and anti-B). The frequency of types A, B, AB and O in the controls and cases was similar to the Jamaican population. There was a slightly association between blood group O and cervical dysplasia/ carcinoma in Jamaican women when compared with others blood groups. Cervical dysplasia/ carcinoma was strongly associated to the number of sexual partners, number of biological fathers, number of children and the use of hormonal contraceptive. [4]

Prevalence of Malaria Parasitaemia and Its Association with ABO Blood Grouping among Students of Igbinedion University Okada, Nigeria

This study was carried out to investigate ABO blood groups association with malaria parasitaemia among students of Igbinedion University, Okada located in Mid-Western Nigeria. Two milliliters (2ml) of venous blood was collected by venipuncture using 5ml hypodermic needles and syringes from 104 asymptomatic malaria students between March and June 2012. Blood samples were immediately dispensed into Ethylene Diamine Tetra-Acetic acid (EDTA) anticoagulated containers and mixed appropriately. ABO blood typing using monoclonal Antisera A, B and D was carried out on samples. The malaria Plasmodium falciparumrapid Test Device (whole blood) package insert kit (BDH, England) was used to test for the presence of malaria parasites in the specimens. The 104 samples analyzed were made up of 24(23.1%) rhesus positive males, 76(73.0%) rhesus positive females and 4(3.9%) rhesus negative females. In increasing order, 4(3.9%), 16(15.4%), 32(30.8%) and 52(50.0%) students occurred in blood groups AB, A, B and O respectively. Forty (38.4%) of total group O subjects were infected with various densities of malaria trophozoites. Out of 32 blood group B individuals representing 30.8% of the total sampled students, 24(23.1%) were infected. All sampled 4(3.9%) AB students were infected. On the whole, 80(76.8%) of total samples processed, were positive for malaria parasitaemia. Twelve (11.5%) and 68(65.4%) of total male and female subjects were infected. Malaria parasitaemia seemed to be relatively high across all blood groups with groups O and AB subjects apparently recording the highest and least infection rates respectively. There was statistical significant association between malaria parasitaemia and ABO blood groups of both male and female students (P < 0.05) and between malaria parasitaemia and ABO blood groups of female students only (P < 0.05). The association of malaria parasitaemia and ABO blood groups of male students was not significant (P > 0.05). There was a statistical significant association of malaria parasitaemia and ABO blood groups among all students sampled and this association may be due to the significant association that occurred among the female students as shown by statistics. [5]


[1] Wolpin, B.M., Chan, A.T., Hartge, P., Chanock, S.J., Kraft, P., Hunter, D.J., Giovannucci, E.L. and Fuchs, C.S., 2009. ABO blood group and the risk of pancreatic cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 101(6), pp.424-431.

[2] Cserti, C.M. and Dzik, W.H., 2007. The ABO blood group system and Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Blood, 110(7), pp.2250-2258.

[3] Iodice, S., Maisonneuve, P., Botteri, E., Sandri, M.T. and Lowenfels, A.B., 2010. ABO blood group and cancer. European journal of cancer, 46(18), pp.3345-3350.

[4] Vaillant, A., Bazuaye, P., McFarlane-Anderson, N., P Smikle, M., Fletcher, H. and E. Akpaka, P. (2013) “Association between ABO Blood Type and Cervical Dysplasia/Carcinoma in Jamaican Women”, Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, 3(4), pp. 2017-2021. doi: 10.9734/BJMMR/2013/4156.

[5] Otajevwo, F. D. (2013) “Prevalence of Malaria Parasitaemia and Its Association with ABO Blood Grouping among Students of Igbinedion University Okada, Nigeria”, Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, 3(4), pp. 1164-1177. doi: 10.9734/BJMMR/2013/1745.

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