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Thromboembolism Risk Affected by Blood Type

By jeremyc | February 24, 2013

Two studies from Denmark show that the ABO blood type on its own and when combined with prothrombin and factor V mutations, is associated with greater risk of VTE, or venous thromboembolism. The study was conducted at the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark and headed by Børge Nordestgaard. He said, “ABO blood type had an additive effect on the risk of venous thromboembolism when combined with factor V Leiden R506Q and prothrombin G20210A mutations.”

The study also stated that the biggest risk factor for VTE among them is the ABO blood type, and blood type screening has to be done during genetic tests for thrombophilia. As part of the study, the research team analyzed ABO blood type genotypes, prothrombin G20210A and factor V Leiden R506Q in 66,001 patients.

The follow-up period was from 1977 to 2010, and it was found out that there was a 1.4 times higher risk of VTE in patients without an O blood type than in those with that blood type. It was also found that patients with a heterozygous factor V mutation had a 2.2 times greater risk of VTE and those with a homozygous mutation has a 7 times greater risk. Further analysis of the results showed that the population-attributable risk was 20 percent in case of ABO blood type, 1 percent for prothrombin G20210A, and 10 percent for factor V Leiden R506Q.

The factor V mutation mentioned above causes the inactivation of factor V at lower rates, which leads to a greater production of thrombin. On the other hand, the prothrombin G20210A mutation happens in an untranslated gene promoter region, leading to the increased production of prothrombin.

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