HealthDay News — There is a significantly elevated risk of incident coronary heart disease (CHD) among individuals with blood group A, B, or AB compared with those with blood group O, according to a study published online Aug. 14 in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

Meian He, M.D., Ph.D., from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined the association between ABO blood group and CHD risk using data from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), which included 62,073 women, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS), which included 27,428 men. A meta-analysis was conducted of these associations and other associations from previous studies.

The researchers found that 2,055 of the NHS participants and 2,015 HPFS participants developed CHD over 26 and 24 years of follow-up, respectively. In both men and women, ABO blood group was significantly associated with the risk of developing CHD. Compared with participants with blood group O, those with blood groups A, B, or AB were more likely to develop CHD, after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors (adjusted hazard ratios for incident CHD, 1.06, 1.15, and 1.23, respectively). Of the CHD cases, 6.27 percent were attributable to inheriting a non-O blood group. Non-O blood group had a significantly higher risk of CHD (relative risk, 1.11) compared with O blood group, on meta-analysis.

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“Our results from the two large, prospective cohorts and a meta-analysis of prospective studies suggest that ABO blood group is associated with CHD risk independent of other risk factors,” the authors write. “Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and to investigate the potential mechanisms underlying the links between ABO blood type and CHD risk.”

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