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International Journal of Vascular Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 641917, 11 pages
Review Article

ABO Blood Groups and Cardiovascular Diseases

1Cardiovascular Institute, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6160, USA
2Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104-5158, USA

Received 20 June 2012; Revised 25 August 2012; Accepted 1 September 2012

Academic Editor: Masaki Mogi

Copyright © 2012 Hanrui Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


ABO blood groups have been associated with various disease phenotypes, particularly cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases are the most common causes of death in developed countries and their prevalence rate is rapidly growing in developing countries. There have been substantial historical associations between non-O blood group status and an increase in some cardiovascular disorders. Recent GWASs have identified ABO as a locus for thrombosis, myocardial infarction, and multiple cardiovascular risk biomarkers, refocusing attention on mechanisms and potential for clinical advances. As we highlight in this paper, more recent work is beginning to probe the molecular basis of the disease associations observed in these observational studies. Advances in our understanding of the physiologic importance of various endothelial and platelet-derived circulating glycoproteins are elucidating the mechanisms through which the ABO blood group may determine overall cardiovascular disease risk. The role of blood group antigens in the pathogenesis of various cardiovascular disorders remains a fascinating subject with potential to lead to novel therapeutics and prognostics and to reduce the global burden of cardiovascular diseases.