The O Advantage
Genetic blood group testing provides an indicator of people’s cardiovascular disease risk
Olivia Gaskill | | Quick Read
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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- J Höglund et al., Am J Hematol, [Online ahead of print] (2021). PMID: 34329492.
- Uppsala University (2021). Available at: https://bit.ly/3DRQeYT.