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03 May 2017

 

Blood groups should be used as a risk factor for cardiovascular risk, a European conference has been told.

Researchers made the call after unveiling a metanalysis of cohort studies of risk.

The research found that people with O group blood enjoy a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease compared with those with A, B and AB blood.

The findings were unveiled at the World Congress on Acute Heart Failure in Paris, France.

Researcher Tessa Kole analysed risk for 1,362,000 people in nine studies. These experienced more than 23,000 cardiovascular events.

The study found no difference in fatal coronary events between blood groups but a significant difference in events of all kinds with an odds ratio of 1.09 between non-O and O blood groups.

The researchers say that lipid levels and concentrations of von Willebrand factor could explain the differences.

Ms Kole, of the University Medical Centre Groningen, the Netherlands, said: 'More research is needed to identify the cause of the apparent increased cardiovascular risk in people with a non-O blood group. Obtaining more information about risk in each non-O blood group (A, B, and AB) might provide further explanations of the causes.'

She added: 'In future, blood group should be considered in risk assessment for cardiovascular prevention, together with cholesterol, age, sex and systolic blood pressure.

'It could be that people with an A blood group should have a lower treatment threshold for dyslipidaemia or hypertension, for example. We need further studies to validate if the excess cardiovascular risk in non-O blood group carriers may be amenable to treatment.'

Abstract: ABO blood group and cardiovascular outcomes in the general population: a meta-analysis.

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