A recent study and analysis by Dr. Lu Qi and colleagues from the Harvard University found that even after controlling for background cardiovascular risk, individuals with non-O blood groups were more likely to develop coronary heart disease (CHD) than those with blood type O. The analysis, published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, evaluated longitudinal patient-level data from the Nurses’ Health Study, which included more than 62,000 women tracked over 26 years, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which followed more than 27,000 men over 24 years. The data showed that among ABO blood groups, the AB group was associated with highest CHD risk (Odds Ratio = 1.23), and that Rh type was not associated with CHD risk. Results from these cohorts were confirmed by a meta-analysis conducted by the authors, using seven recent studies on the relationship of ABO blood group and CHD risk. The mechanisms underlying the association of blood group and CHD are not fully clear, but may be driven by elevated levels of the factor VIII-von Willebrand factor complex among non-O individuals.
1. He M, Wolpin B, Rexrode K, Manson JE, Rimm E, Hu FB, Qi L. ABO Blood Group and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Two Prospective Cohort Studies. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2012;32: 2314-20.