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Diagnostics Genetics and epigenetics, Hematology

The O Advantage

The ABO gene – consisting of three major alleles: A, B, and O – determines a person’s blood group. Previous studies have focused on the link between blood groups and risk of disease; now, researchers at Uppsala University have revealed an association between ABO genotypes and cardiovascular disease risk (1). Instead of using traditional blood tests, they genetically analyzed patient samples to identify the variant inherited from each parent. Patients with two copies of A, B, or AB were found to have twice as high a risk as patients who had at least one O allele.

“This is not detected in a regular blood test, since both A and B mask the O gene. A person’s genetic variants play a big role in the risk for cardiovascular diseases,” said first author Julia Höglund (2). “If this was the standard method used with patients, it would significantly improve the ability to find high-risk patients.”

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  1. J Höglund et al., Am  J Hematol, [Online ahead of print] (2021). PMID: 34329492.
  2. Uppsala University (2021). Available at:
About the Author
Liv Gaskill

During my undergraduate degree in psychology and Master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience, I realized the tasks my classmates found tedious – writing essays, editing, proofreading – were the ones that gave me the greatest satisfaction. I quickly gathered that rambling on about science in the bar wasn’t exactly riveting for my non-scientist friends, so my thoughts turned to a career in science writing. At Texere, I get to craft science into stories, interact with international experts, and engage with readers who love science just as much as I do.

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